All cancers are easier to treat when they are detected early. Unfortunately, early signs of lung cancer are often ignored as patients think they are not related, causing the cancer to be undiagnosed until an advanced stage. Be proactive and learn the early signs of lung cancer.
First Be Aware Of Your Risk Factors
There may not be early neon signs indicating lung cancer, but you can and should be aware of your own risk factors making you more susceptible.
They include the following:
- Smoking cigarettes is the #1 cause of lung cancer and 90% of cases are due to smoking.
- Family history of lung cancer. You are twice as likely to get lung cancer in your lifetime if someone else in your family had it. If several family members had lung cancer, your chances increase.
- Secondhand smoke is a surprising risk factor. If you live with someone who smokes or are around people who smoke, you are inhaling the same carcinogens, just in smaller amounts.
- Occupational exposure is just as dangerous. Asbestos, which causes mesothelioma, can still be found in buildings. Someone who works in construction or shipbuilding is vulnerable.
- Other toxins like arsenic, air pollution, tar, and soot are all contributing factors. If you smoke, that increases your risk. Radon is another risk factor for lung cancer.
- Taking beta carotene.
Once you are aware of your own risk factors for developing lung cancer, you can begin to pay attention to signs you might otherwise ignore.
Be Aware Of Easily Overlooked Signs
Many people get up every day and expect the same ailments as yesterday; they just get used to chronic coughing, having frequent respiratory infections, some trouble breathing, and occasional chest pains. It happens every day, so nothing to worry about, right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
Especially if you are a smoker, be aware of a chronic cough that lasts for at least 8 weeks. Pay attention to multiple bouts with pneumonia, respiratory infections, and bronchitis. This can occur because tumors can block the airway causing these infections.
If you find yourself short of breath, bring this to the attention of Dr. Gregory Brevetti. Do the same if you cough up even a small amount of blood, find yourself getting hoarse frequently, or have chest pain. Any of these seemingly insignificant signs can be the early signs of lung cancer.
If you are experiencing any of these early easily overlooked signs, contact Dr. Gregory Brevetti at (631) 353-0909 to schedule a lung cancer screening, or request an appointment through our secure online form.