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5 Sneaky Signs of Lung Cancer You Should Know

Lung cancer is a pervasive and deadly disease that claims the lives of millions worldwide every year. Early detection plays a crucial role in improving treatment outcomes and survival rates. While some symptoms are obvious, there are also sneaky signs that may go unnoticed.

In this article, Pacific Prime will introduce you to the prevalence and mortality of Lung Cancer in China, the cause of lung cancer, and move on to five subtle signs that could indicate the possibility of lung cancer. We hope to empower you with the knowledge to take charge of your personal health.

State of Lung Cancer in China

In 2022, the number of lung cancer cases is the highest among all sorts of cancers – with over 1 million males and females diagnosed with lung cancer. The mortality rate of lung cancer patients is 69%.

People aged 35-39 have significantly higher risks than those below age 35, and the age group with the highest risk of getting lung cancer is 80-84.

The number of lung cancer cases is expected to keep increasing, and it will progress to threaten the lives of the younger population.

Cause and Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer

The cause of lung cancer is not yet clear, but it is believed that smoking and air pollution are two significant risk factors. Other factors include occupational exposure to heavy metals or dust, secondhand smoke, high fasting plasma glucose, and household air pollution from solid fuels.

There are some common and obvious signs that you have to watch out for which could be indicative of worsening lung cancer:

  • A persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Coughing or spitting out blood

With that said, symptoms vary in each individual. Some may experience only a few of these, while some others might experience none.

Subtle Signs of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a very subtle form of cancer, unlike other cancers which have definitive symptoms or “early signs”. It may show “sneaky” signs only until the late stages unless the size of the tumor is large, advanced, or metastasized.

Fatigue and Weakness

Cancer cells consume a significant amount of the body’s energy and nutrients, leading to a general feeling of tiredness. What’s more, lung cancer can trigger an immune response that releases substances called cytokines, which can induce fatigue.

Hoarseness or Voice Changes

When a tumor grows near or presses against the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which controls the muscles responsible for vocal cord movement, it can disrupt the vocal cord’s normal function. This disruption can result in hoarseness, a deepening or weakening of the voice, or changes in voice quality.

Shoulder or Back Pain

The spread of cancer cells to nearby areas such as the bones, including the spine, ribs, or shoulder blades can cause irritation, inflammation, or compression of nerves and bones, leading to pain.

Cancer cells can also grow large enough to press against adjacent structures, resulting in localized pain in the shoulder or back.

Recurring Respiratory Infections

Cancer cells can disrupt the normal functioning of the immune system, impairing its ability to defend against pathogens. This weakened immune response can increase the likelihood of developing recurrent respiratory infections, including bronchitis, pneumonia, or other lung infections.

Finger Clubbing

Finger clubbing refers to a condition where the fingertips become enlarged and the nail beds become rounded and shiny.

It can occur due to inadequate oxygenation of the tissues. Tumors in the lungs can hinder the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, leading to low oxygen levels in the bloodstream. This chronic hypoxia triggers this reaction.

Prioritize Your Health with Pacific Prime

Recognizing the sneaky signs of lung cancer is helpful for early detection and timely intervention before the condition gets worse. While these signs are indicators, they do not accurately reflect the cancer stage and sometimes get you overthinking too much about a possibly more minor health issue.

Securing comprehensive health insurance is recommended for everyone to access advanced medical facilities and quality healthcare services for body checks and doctor’s consultations, so you are aware of your physical health and allow early detection of possible health issues.

Pacific Prime is experienced in dealing with all things insurance. We can help you compare and find a health insurance policy suitable for your needs and budget from global insurers.

Whether you’re looking for international health insurance or expat health insurance in China, we’re here to offer you a solution. Contact us to receive impartial advice or a no-obligation quote today.

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Disclaimer: Pacific Prime solely represents, operates, and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products, or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.