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Symptoms result from damage to the lung or other structures that are near the lung in the mediastinum or surrounding tissues. They include:

  • Persistent and worsening cough
  • Hoarseness or any change in voice quality
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Frequent pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Chest pain

Symptoms that may affect your whole body include:

  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • New back or bone pain
  • New inability to control the bladder or bowel
  • Seizures, specific weakness, or numbness
  • Unexplained clotting problems resulting in a heart attack or stroke

These symptoms may also be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor.

Rarely, lung cancer may cause apparently unrelated systemic problems. These problems may include:

  • Abnormal clotting
  • Clubbing of the fingers
  • Increase in blood calcium or decrease in blood sodium
  • Increase in bone density at the ends of the wrist (hypertrophic osteopathy)

Revision Information

  • Lung cancer (non-small cell). American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-non-smallcell/detailedguide/index. Accessed September 17, 2014.

  • Learn about cancer (small cell). American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-smallcell/detailedguide/index. Accessed September 17, 2014.

  • Lung cancer. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer. Accessed September 17, 2014.

  • Lung cancer—for patients. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/lung. Accessed September 17, 2014.