Lung Cancer Symptoms in Women
Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer with a high mortality rate. Statistics say that two people die of lung cancer every minute.
As with all cancers, the key is early diagnosis and it is important to notice signs and symptoms as early as possible in order to obtain a better prognosis.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer symptoms include:
- A cough that won’t go away
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
However, there are some lung cancer symptoms that are more prominent in women than in men. Women’s bodies undergo so many more changes compared to men that what seem like normal changes might actually already be signs of cancer. In fact, lung cancer symptoms in women are often overlooked in the initial stages because as these symptoms can be quite deceiving, making early diagnosis uncommon and difficult. By the time the cancer is diagnosed, chances of recovery are already very low.
Scientists from King’s College London say that with the next three decades, the rate of lung cancer among females will become 35 times faster than among men, which means that lung cancer will be the most deadly type of cancer in the next 30 years. Thus, identifying lung cancer symptoms in women is even more crucial.
Lung cancer symptoms in women are different from men for many reasons. First, the most common types of lung cancer between males and females vary; and second, different types of lung cancer have different ways of manifesting themselves (i.e. symptoms). For example, the most common type of lung cancer in women is lung adenocarcinoma, which has tumors growing outside of the lung.
Other than the ones common to both sexes, lung cancer symptoms in women for adenocarcinoma include:
- Back and shoulder pain
- Chest pains that worsen with deep breaths — this condition is known as pleuritic chest pain. The pain is dull, aching, and persistent since the tumors are located outside the lungs.
- In advanced stages, lung cancer can spread to the brain, causing stroke, confusion, seizures, headaches, and blurred vision. If it spreads to the esophagus, the patient could have difficulty in swallowing, known as dysphagia. If the bones are affected, they become brittle. Other symptoms will spread to the other organs, decreasing the chances of recovery even more.
Lung cancer symptoms in women are divided into a couple of branches, and it depends on the location of the tumor and whether or not the tumor has spread inside your body. In early stages, women usually do not show symptoms and the only way to detect it is by routine chest X-rays or CT scans.
The risk of developing lung cancer has been increasing for women but decreasing for men. It is also important to note that the lung cancer that women are prone to is not caused by smoking and symptoms are often vague and dismissed as mere normal changes or presumed to be less serious conditions. This is why routine checkups are advised, especially for older women. Many have been diagnosed at early stages, thanks to routine checkups — and this has saved countless lives.