Lung Cancer: When to seek medical advice?

By  , Expert Content
May 24, 2012

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Symptoms of lung cancer are non-specific in most cases. Similar symptoms are caused by many other diseases which affect the lungs such as other tumours and infections in lung. Prognosis for lung cancer is poor and response to treatment becomes significantly poor in later stages of disease. Hence it is important to consult a doctor for any bothersome symptom which persists for more than a few days.

Consult your doctor if you have one or more of the following symptoms (which persist for more than a few days), suggestive of a significant medical problem:

  • Recurrent or persistent cough (cough which does not go away)
  • Blood in cough (hemoptysis).
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Difficulty or discomfort while breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Hoarseness of voice.
  • Fever (due to infection in the lung).
  • Weight loss, weakness, general feeling of ill health.

These are some symptoms which may occur in a lung cancer, but similar symptoms can be caused by many other diseases of the lung. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean that you have lung cancer. Your doctor can evaluate to diagnose the cause of your symptoms and treat them accordingly.

Symptoms which need urgent medical consultation or treatment

  • Blood in cough (hemoptysis).
  • Difficulty or discomfort while breathing.
  • Wheezing.

Who to consult

Some health professionals who can be consulted for your symptoms include;

  • General physicians.
  • Family doctor.
  • Physician assistants.
  • Internists.




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