SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Lung cancer typically doesn't cause signs and symptoms in its earliest stages. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer typically occur only when the disease is advanced.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- A new cough that doesn't go away
- Changes in a chronic cough or "smoker's cough"
- Coughing up blood, even a small amount
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Losing weight without trying
- Bone pain
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.
If you smoke and have been unable to quit, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend strategies for quitting smoking, such as counseling, medications and nicotine replacement products.
- Non-small cell lung cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Oct. 12, 2011.
- Estimated new cancer cases and deaths by sex for all sites, US, 2011. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029817.pdf. Accessed Oct. 12, 2011.
- Small cell lung cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Oct. 12, 2011.
- Johnson DH, et al. Cancer of the lung: Non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:1307.
- What you need to know about lung cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/lung/AllPages. Accessed Oct. 7, 2011.
- Lung cancer prevention (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/lung/Patient/AllPages. Accessed Oct. 7, 2011.
- Aberle DR, et al. Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomographic screening. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;365:395.
- Greaves SM, et al. The new staging system for lung cancer: Imaging and clinical implications. Journal of Thoracic Imaging. 2011;26:119.
- Xalkori (prescribing information). New York, N.Y.: Pfizer Labs; 2011. www.pfizerpro.com/Xalkori. Accessed Oct. 14, 2011.
- Avastin (prescribing information). South San Francisco, Calif.: Genentech Inc.; 2011. http://www.avastin.com/avastin/hcp/index.html. Accessed Oct. 14, 2011.
- Tarceva (prescribing information). Melville, N.Y.: OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc.; 2011. http://www.tarceva.com/patient/considering/index.jsp. Accessed Oct. 14, 2011.
- Kvale PA, et al. Palliative care in lung cancer. Chest. 2007;132(suppl):368S.
- Cassileth BR, et al. Complementary therapies and integrative oncology in lung cancer. Chest. 2007:132(suppl):340S.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). RadiologyInfo.org. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=stereotactic. Accessed Oct. 14, 2011.
- Temel JS, et al. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363:733.
- Li Y, et al. Effect of emphysema on lung cancer risk in smokers: A computed tomography-based assessment. Cancer Prevention Research. 2010;4:53.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 19, 2011.
- 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Nov. 8, 2011.