Lung Cancer Symptoms
- A cough that doesn't go away
and gets worse over time
- Constant chest pain
- Fluid in lungs, fluid around
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath,
wheezing, or hoarseness
- Repeated problems with
pneumonia or bronchitis
- Swelling of the neck and face
- Loss of appetite or weight
These lung cancer
symptoms like fluid in the lungs may be caused by lung cancer or by other
conditions. It is important to check with a doctor.
To help find the cause of lung cancer symptoms, the doctor evaluates
a person's medical history, smoking history, exposure to environmental
and occupational substances such as asbestos, and family history
of cancer. The doctor also performs a physical exam and may order
a chest x-ray and other tests. If lung cancer is suspected, sputum
cytology (the microscopic examination of cells obtained from a deep-cough
sample of mucus in the lungs) is a simple test that may be useful
in detecting lung cancer. To confirm the presence of lung cancer,
the doctor must examine tissue from the lung. The removal of a small
sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist
can show whether a person has lung cancer. A number of procedures
may be used to obtain this tissue:
- Bronchoscopy. The doctor puts a bronchoscope (a thin, lighted
tube) into the mouth or nose and down through the windpipe to
look into the breathing passages. Through this tube, the doctor
can collect cells or small samples of tissue.
- Needle aspiration. A needle is inserted through the chest into
the lung cancer tumor to remove a sample of tissue.
- Thoracentesis. Using a needle, the doctor removes a sample of
the fluid that surrounds the lungs to check for cancer cells.
- Thoracoscopy. Surgery to open the chest is sometimes needed
to diagnose lung cancer. This procedure is a major operation performed
in a hospital.