Lung cancer warning – the three unusual signs of the disease you should be looking out for

Lung cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer to be diagnosed, as it’s usually difficult to spot until it has spread to other parts of the body. You could be at risk of the disease if you develop a swollen face or neck, hoarseness, or even swollen fingertips.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK, warned the NHS.

Around 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year.

Signs of the disease only tend to reveal themselves once the cancer has spread through the lungs.

There are also a number of more unusual warning signs that could signal the deadly disease.

Having a swollen face or neck could be one of the earliest signs of lung cancer.

When a tumour presses on the vein that goes from the head to the heart, it leads to swelling.

Hoarseness – an abnormal change to your voice – could also be caused by lung cancer.

It’s caused by a tumour in the chest pressing down on the vocal cords.

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Meanwhile, the disease may also lead to a symptom known as finger clubbing.

If the body isn’t receiving enough oxygen, as a direct result of lung cancer, it can lead to an enlargement of the fingertips and downward sloping of nails.

“Lung cancer can often go unnoticed, as many patients experience no symptoms at first,” Bupa told Express Health.

“The most common sign of the condition is a persistent cough that gets worse over time, coughing up blood or rust-coloured sputum (spit).

“There are other, more unusual, signs to watch out for including swelling in the face or neck, hoarseness and swollen fingertips [commonly known as clubbing].


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“Lung cancer is the primary cause of finger clubbing, and starts with a softening of the nail bed and increasingly curved nails, which causes the fingers to swell.”

Other more common signs of lung cancer include chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, and persistent tiredness.

It could also lead to recurrent chest infections, or extreme weight loss without any obvious reason.

Some patients have reported a yellowing of their skin and eyes.


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The symptom, known as jaundice, should be seen by a medical professional straight away.

You should speak to a doctor straight away if you’re worried about the warning signs of lung cancer.

The outlook for lung cancer isn’t as good as other types of cancer, as the symptoms are usually only spotted in its later stages.

About one in three patients live for at least a year after their diagnosis, while one in 20 live for another 10 years.

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