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Early symptoms and screening methods for lung cancer

In the early stages of lung cancer, there are often no symptoms. About 15% of lung cancer patients are diagnosed with lung cancer when asymptomatic. Symptoms such as cough, weight loss, shortness of breath, and hoarseness are found in patients diagnosed with lung cancer.

The treatment of lung cancer depends on type of cell lung cancer, the stage, and condition of patient. In the case of early stage non-small cell lung cancer, surgical resection and chemotherapy are the most important treatment. In the case of small cell lung cancer, most have metastasized at diagnosis, so chemotherapy is the most important treatment.

Symptoms of early lung cancer

Symptoms of early lung cancer vary depending on the site of the tumor and where it has metastasized. Cough is the most common symptom of lung cancer, and 50 to 75% of lung cancer patients complain of it. A new or persistent cough in people who are current or former smokers may suggest lung cancer.

Hemoptysis is found in 25-50% of patients with early stage lung cancer. It should be differentiated from other diseases such as bronchitis. The patient’s age and smoking history should be considered.

In the early stages of lung cancer, dyspnea and hoarseness may be observed. Chest pain can manifest in a variety of ways, including sharp, stabbing, or pressing sensations. Swelling of the face, neck, and arms may appear in the early stages of lung cancer.

Screening for early lung cancer

Various tests are used to detect early lung cancer, such as blood tests, chest X-rays, chest CT, PET, brain MRI, bone scans, and biopsies.

Low-dose chest CT is mainly used for early detection of lung cancer in asymptomatic smoking history, family history of lung cancer, and other high-risk cases of lung cancer.

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