Lung Cancer Symptoms in Females

Lung cancer is often only linked to smoking or exposure to certain chemicals, without gender or ethnicity being considered.

Lung cancer is often only linked to smoking or exposure to certain chemicals, without gender or ethnicity being considered.

Many lung cancers do not cause any symptoms up until they have actually spread out, but some females with early lung cancer do have symptoms. If you go to your doctor when you first observe symptoms, your cancer might be detected at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer Women Shouldn’t Ignore

The most typical symptoms of lung cancer in a woman are:

  • A cough that does not disappear or becomes worse
  • Spending blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm).
  • Chest pain that is typically even worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Weight loss and anorexia nervosa.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that do not disappear or keep returning.
  • New start of wheezing.

If lung cancer infects distant organs, it might cause:

  • Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips).
  • Nerve system modifications (such as headache, weak point or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer infect the brain or spine.
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), from cancer infect the liver.
  • Lumps near the surface of woman’s body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collections of body immune system cells), such as those in the neck or above the collarbone.

The majority of these symptoms are most likely to be triggered by something other than lung cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s crucial to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and dealt with, if required.

Some lung cancers can cause syndromes, which are groups of very particular symptoms.

Horner Syndrome

Cancers of the top part of the lungs (often called Pancoast tumors) in some cases can affect particular nerves to the eye and part of the face, causing a group of symptoms called Horner syndrome:

  • Drooping or weak point of one eyelid.
  • A smaller sized pupil (dark part in the center of the eye) in the very same eye.
  • Decreased or absent sweating on the same side of the face.
  • Pancoast tumors can also sometimes cause severe shoulder pain.

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

The superior vena cava (SVC) is a big vein that brings blood from the head and arms back to the heart. It passes next to the upper part of the right lung and the lymph nodes inside the chest. Tumors in this area can continue the SVC, which can cause the blood to back up in the veins. This can result in swelling in the face, neck, arms, and upper chest (often with a bluish-red skin color). It can likewise cause headaches, dizziness, and a change in awareness if it affects the female’s brain. While SVC syndrome can establish gradually with time, in some cases it can end up being life-threatening, and has to be treated immediately.

Paraneoplastic Syndromes

Some lung cancers can make hormone-like compounds that go into the blood stream and cause problems with far-off tissues and organs, although the cancer has actually not infected those tissues or organs. These issues are called paraneoplastic syndromes. Sometimes these syndromes can be the first symptoms of lung cancer. Because the symptoms impact organs aside from the lungs, patients and their medical professionals may presume at first that a disease besides lung cancer is triggering them.

A few of the more common paraneoplastic syndromes related to lung cancer are:

  • SIADH (syndrome of improper anti-diuretic hormone): In this condition, the cancer cells make a hormone (ADH) that causes the kidneys to retain water. This decreases salt levels in the blood. Symptoms of SIADH can consist of tiredness, anorexia nervosa, muscle weak point or cramps, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and confusion. Without treatment, severe cases may lead to seizures and coma.
  • Cushing syndrome: In this condition, the cancer cells might make ACTH, a hormone that causes the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. This can cause symptoms such as weight gain, easy bruising, weak point, sleepiness, and fluid retention. Cushing syndrome can likewise cause hypertension and high blood sugar levels (and even diabetes).
  • Nervous system issues: Lung cancer can in some cases cause the body’s immune system to attack parts of the nerve system, which can lead to problems. One example is a muscle disorder called the Lambert-Eaton syndrome, in which the muscles around the hips end up being weak. One of the first signs may be problem getting up from a sitting position. Later, muscles around the shoulder may become weak. A rarer issue is paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, which can cause loss of balance and unsteadiness in arm and leg motion, in addition to problem speaking or swallowing.
  • High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia): This can cause regular urination, thirst, constipation, nausea, vomiting, belly pain, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and other nerve system problems.
  • Excess development or thickening of certain bones: This is frequently in the finger suggestions, and can be painful.
  • Embolism.

Once again, a lot of these symptoms are most likely to be triggered by something besides lung cancer. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s essential to see your doctor immediately so the cause can be discovered and dealt with, if needed.


Last modified: April 21, 2018

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