Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Talk to your doctor if you think you have any symptoms of lung cancer.

The following are the most common symptoms for lung cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms when it first develops, but they often become present after the tumor begins growing. A cough is the most common symptom of lung cancer.

Other symptoms include:

Like all cancers, lung cancer can cause:

Other symptoms can be caused by substances made by lung cancer cells - referred to as a paraneoplastic syndrome. For example, certain lung cancer cells produce a substance that causes a sharp drop in the level of sodium in the blood, which can cause many symptoms, including confusion and sometimes even coma.  Some tumors will cause swelling and pain along the shins in both legs, known as pulmonary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy.

None of these symptoms is a sure sign that you have lung cancer. Only a physician can tell whether your symptoms are caused by cancer or by another problem. Consult your physician for a diagnosis.

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