Common symptoms of lung cancer

Common symptoms of lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in America, but it’s by far the leading cause of cancer death. In 2019, the last year for which data is available, 221,097 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and 139,601 people died from  it. 

A cancer that forms in the tissues of the lungs—most often in the cells that line air passages—lung cancer occurs when cells start to grow and multiply uncontrollably. Lung cancer usually develops as a result of exposure to toxins like smoke, asbestos, or radiation. 

Lung cancer unfortunately often can go undetected until its later stages, as it can often present without symptoms. The higher incidence of advanced disease at the time of diagnosis can lead to a generally worse prognosis, and the five-year survival rate for patients as a result is only 15%. By comparison, the survival rate for patients diagnosed with early stage disease who undergo surgical resection is 85%.

There are, however, a few common symptoms of lung cancer to look out for: 

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Repeated respiratory infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shoulder, arm, chest, or back pain

The best approach, however—especially for patients at elevated risk, like smokers—is a proactive screening regimen. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends low-dose CT scans of the chest to screen for lung cancer or nodules at regular intervals for high-risk patients. 

At Texas IPS, our Lung Nodule/Lung Cancer Clinic provides comprehensive screening as well as pathways for diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer when necessary. When it comes to lung cancer, early detection is a patient’s best bet—let us help. Schedule an appointment today. 

About Texas IPS

Texas IPS, based in San Antonio, is an independent physician owned medical practice specializing in the treatment of pulmonary, sleep, and critical care medicine. Texas IPS’ knowledgeable physician staff is composed of highly trained clinicians dedicated to providing high quality care through a patient centered approach using advanced technology and innovation.