In up to 25% of people who get lung cancer, there are no apparent symptoms at the time of diagnosis. In others, symptoms can occur from the cancer itself, from the metastatic spread of the cancer beyond its origin in the lung, or from so-called paraneoplastic syndromes that result from the production of hormone-like substances by the lung cancer cells. Common symptoms include
Other symptoms can include
Symptoms of metastatic disease can include
Causes of lung cancer
Lung cancer develops when a collection of cells in the lung tissue begins to grow and divide uncontrollably. This is usually due to damage to the cells' DNA. A number of agents have been linked to lung cancer; the most well known is tobacco smoking. About 90% of lung cancers are estimated to arise due to tobacco use. Other risk factors for the development of lung cancer include passive smoking, exposure to radon gas, asbestos exposure, air pollution, and certain lung diseases.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Lung Cancer." Feb. 8, 2018. <http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/>.
Main Article on Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Lung Cancer Quiz: Signs and Symptoms
Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the U.S. and worldwide. Get the facts about lung...
Lung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
Learn about lung cancer symptoms and treatments. Get more information on small cell lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and...
Picture of Lung Cancer
Cancer of the lung, like all cancers, results from an abnormality in the body's basic unit of life, the cell. See a picture of...
Slideshow: Lung Cancer Risks: Myths and Facts
Learn about lung cancer myths and facts. Explore how cigar smoke, menthol, and pollution can increase your risk of lung cancer...
Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Examples of Medications for Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs
- bevacizumab - injection, Avastin
- carboplatin - injection, Paraplatin
- cisplatin - injection, Platinol-AQ
- erlotinib, Tarceva
- etoposide - injection, Toposar, Vepesid
- etoposide - oral, Vepesid
- gefitinib, (Iressa discontinued in the US)
- methotrexate, Rheumatrex, Trexall
- paclitaxel - injection, Onxol, Taxol
- topotecan - injection, Hycamtin
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter