Lung cancer is an issue of great concern for men because it is one of the leading causes of deaths caused in men due to cancer. Each year, millions of men across the globe are diagnosed with lung cancer and millions of men suffering from lung cancer succumb to death.
Although, lung cancer in men has shown a decline as compared to the women sufferers, it is still necessary for men to be alert and aware of the key signs and symptoms of the lung cancer.
Awareness about lung cancer can help men as well as women to save their life by recognizing the symptoms in its early phase and getting timely treatment for it. All the symptoms related to lung cancer may not be the same in men and women.
One major cause for this is that some kinds of lung cancer are closely linked to smoking and as we all know that most men are likely to have a history of smoking in the past as compared to their female counterparts.
Most Common Types of Lung Cancer in Men:
Basically, there are two types of lung cancer – 1) Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers and 2) Small Cell Lung Cancers. Nearly eighty percent of the lung cancer victims suffer from the non-small cell lung cancers. Non-small cell lung cancers are further divided into 3 types of lung cancers – a) Squamous Cell Lung Cancer, b) Large Cell Lung Cancer, and c) Lung Adenocarcinomas. Men are more prone to develop large cell lung cancers and squamous cell lung cancers whereas women are mostly affected by lung adenocarcinomas.
As compared to women, more men are likely to suffer from the small cell lung cancers. Small cell lung cancers also develop in the mid region of the lungs and from there they spread quickly, frequently to the brain of the patient.
In men, lung cancer that originates and grows close to the central airways is the most common one. In this article, we will try to learn about the common signs of lung cancer that are seen in men. Due to this men may show early symptoms of lung cancer like coughing up blood.
5 Signs of Lung Cancer in Men:
1) Male Breast Development
Women are generally worried about developing breast cancer and therefore take care to examine their breasts regularly to notice any changes in their breasts or nipples that might indicate the possibility of breast cancer. But men are seldom bothered about all these in spite of being aware that though breast cancer is not common in men, there is some possibility that men too can become a victim of this dreaded form of cancer. Men should also examine their breasts and if they find any mass accumulated in their breast region then they should immediately report this to their doctors.
Overdevelopment of the breast in men i.e. gynecomastia is a major symptom of lung cancer in men. It has been found out that lung cancer produces estrogen hormone in the body and therefore, breast growth in men is the outcome of the increase in the estrogen levels.
2) Chronic Cough
If you are suffering from chronic or persistent cough then you need to think about visiting your doctor. If coughing problem troubles you for nearly 8 weeks or more then you should consider it to be persistent or chronic cough. Although chronic cough can be caused due to many other reasons like acid reflux, sinus infections, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps, asthma, etc, the possibility of lung cancer cannot be ignored.
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So if you experience persistent cough, you need not panic thinking that you have developed lung cancer but you should also not delay in visiting your doctor. It has been seen that about 2% of the people, who suffer from chronic cough are diagnosed with lung cancer.
3) Coughing Up Blood
Coughing of blood, medically known as hemoptysis can be a sign of lung cancer in men. You may cough up blood if there is bleeding either in the small or the large airways of your lungs, or your throat. Coughing up blood can be described as spitting up mucus dotted with blood. The coughed up blood may get mixed with phlegm giving a bubbly look. It can be really a frightening experience to cough up blood and hence should not be taken lightly.
Irritation caused in the airways due to any infection or coughing is the most common causes for coughing up blood. Some other probable causes for coughing up blood include bronchitis, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, bronchiactesis, tuberculosis, etc. It has been observed that in about 7% of the lung cancer patients, coughing up blood is the only symptom present.
In medical terminology, wheezing is known as sibilant rhonchi. Wheezing occurs when air flows through narrowed or constricted breathing tubes. High pitched whistling sound is produced during breathing. This is known as wheezing. Although, wheezing may indicate the presence of lung cancer, there can be some other reasons for it like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD, etc. You must consult your physician especially if wheezing is accompanied with difficulty in breathing.
5) Shortness of Breath
Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath can be experienced by many people. Some may experience difficulty in breathing after doing strenuous exercise or when they undergo emotional distress. But there may also be some other serious reasons for shortness of breath in people, which can include heart disease, a blockage in the air route in mouth, throat or nose, lung problems that may include severe pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, COPD, bronchiolitis, pulmonary embolism, and other chronic lung problems.
Shortness of breath occurs when a person is unable to get enough air due to any reason. The sufferer usually finds it too hard to breath in air. Sometimes, shortness of breath is an indication that you are suffering from an advanced lung disease. If wheezing occurs along with shortness of breath then the possibility of having lung cancer cannot be ignored. You must see your doctor if you experience these signs.
Men are recommended to see their physician if they experience any of the signs of lung cancer that have been mentioned above. Delay in the treatment of lung cancer can make your case complicated.
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