The common lung cancer symptoms are:
- Cough that persists for a long period
- Sputum with blood
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Hoarseness of voice
Other symptoms such as swallowing difficulty, speech difficulty, darkening of the skin, pallor, nail abnormalities, muscle atrophy, bone pain, joint pain and swelling and fever with chills may also be present.
Mode of treatment depends on the type of cancer and the extent of spread.
It also depends on the age and general health of the patient.
The treatment options available are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
Surgery can be done for cancer that has not spread beyond the lung. Pulmonary function tests are done as screening tools to identify patients with high risk. Surgery is the treatment of choice in most cases of non small cell carcinoma.
Radiation therapy uses high energy X rays to kill the cancer cells and to shrink the tumours. Post operative radiation is employed where tumour has not been fully removed. Radiation can also be used to reduce pain and other symptoms in advanced cases.
Chemotherapy is the recommended treatment for patients with stage II and stage III cancer. Combination chemotherapy is the recommended treatment of choice for small cell carcinoma.