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Every year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, making lung cancer the leading cause of cancer death among men and women alike.  Despite the grave nature of this disease, many people who receive treatment in the earliest stages of lung cancer are cured. Catching lung cancer early means you need to have a keen awareness of your body and recognize unusual changes as soon as possible. This ultimately leads to earlier treatment, which is key to surviving the disease.
Lung cancer occurs when cells in the lung mutate, or change. Although there are a number of different factors that can cause cell mutation, breathing in dangerous, toxic substances – even if it was many years ago – is the most common.
By far, the leading toxic substance that causes lung cancer is cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains deadly chemicals referred to as carcinogens that are known to cause cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include:2
Many times, lung cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until it has spread to other parts of the body. But some people become aware of symptoms earlier, before the cancer has a chance to spread.
If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms of lung cancer, it’s important that you go to the doctor right away. Being diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease leads to earlier treatment, when it’s most likely to be more effective. Check out the signs and symptoms of lung cancer below:
If lung cancer spreads to other areas, symptoms may also include:3
Most of the time, the signs and symptoms mentioned above are symptoms of something other than lung cancer. Regardless, it’s still important to see your doctor when you experience any of them so she can determine their cause and offer the most effective treatment possible.3
Sometimes, lung cancer causes syndromes, or groups of very specific symptoms such as:3
As we learned above, early recognition of lung cancer symptoms leads to earlier diagnosis and treatment, which often improves survival. There are a number of lung cancer treatments available; the mode of treatment that works best for you depends upon the type of lung cancer you have and how far it has spread. The following treatment options are the most common:
For more information about signs, symptoms and treatment of lung cancer, talk to your doctor, pulmonologist or oncologist.
 American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Lung Cancer. Last revised January 4, 2018.
 American Lung Association. What Causes Lung Cancer? Accessed May 24, 2018.
 American Cancer Society. Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer. Last revised February 22, 2016.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How is Lung Cancer Diagnosed and Treated? Last updated July 21, 2014.