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Lung Cancer Symptoms

Male physician showing a female patient a xrayLung cancer symptoms typically do not start to appear until the later stages of this cancer. These symptoms are also easily mistaken for infections or other ailments. However, individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer, such as those who smoke, those who previously had cancer or received cancer treatment, and anyone with a family history of cancer, should be particularly aware of the signs and symptoms that this type of cancer may present.

Symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Chronic and changing coughs
  • Coughing up blood or bloody mucous
  • Short breath and wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest or bone pain
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained weight loss

Because these symptoms do not necessarily indicate lung cancer, it is important to consult with a doctor for a diagnosis. The lab tests and screens that medical professionals use may include an x-ray or CT scan to detect the presence of cancer and a biopsy or bronchoscopy to identify its nature. When a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer, a physician will likely recommend chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery to help alleviate the symptoms. However, since this form of cancer is often in a late stage by the time it’s diagnosed, treatment is typically not curative.

At Tampa General Hospital, our team of oncologists and other medical professionals are highly experienced in identifying symptoms of and diagnosing different types of lung cancer, and formulating specialized lung cancer treatment plans that take into account a patient’s individual condition. Our facility also features state-of-the-art equipment to help diagnose and treat all forms of cancer.  For a physician referral, please use our Physician Finder tool or call (813) 844-2200.