What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?
Many people with lung cancer don't have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Because there are very few nerve endings in the lungs, a tumor could grow without causing pain or discomfort. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include:
- A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
- Constant chest pain
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Coughing up blood
Some symptoms of lung cancer may not seem related to the lungs or breathing. These symptoms can still be a sign of lung cancer because lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its earlier stages. This means some symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bone pain or fractures
- Blood clots
See your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms. If you think you are at risk for lung cancer, talk to your doctor about being screened.
Some people, unfortunately, go misdiagnosed for a long time because their symptoms are similar to other diagnoses such as pneumonia, allergies or a cold. If you feel that something is wrong, be persistent with your doctor. You know your body best and being persistent could save your life.
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.
Page last updated: October 28, 2021