When it comes to our general health, it is always necessary to have regular checkups with your medical professional. However, one of the best ways to protect yourself from a serious illness is to just pay attention to your body.

After all, no one knows your body as well as you do. You will be the first person to know when something serious is wrong. Even if you do not yet have symptoms of a serious disease, you may just not feel right. Sometimes a doctor may be certain that you do not have a serious problem, such as cancer, but you just know your body better than they do and you may end of having cancer after all.

That is why it is very important for every person to be aware of hard to detect symptoms of lung cancer that can occur very early in the lifecycle of the disease. If you do not catch lung cancer very early, it is hard to treat it.

Below are some of the common early symptoms of lung cancer that you should pay close attention to. If you suddenly notice one or more of these symptoms, you should have it investigated.

#1 Shortness of Breath

Everyone is short of breath at some point, but the majority of us may be short of breath after engaging in serious physical exercise. But if you are short of breath when you just get off the couch, you could have a serious respiratory problem that could be lung cancer. In fact, experts say that shortness of breath with no apparent cause is one of the most common early signs of lung cancer.

#2 Fatigue

If you are so tired that you can hardly stand and there is no clear reason for it, the chances are that you have some type of illness, and it could be something more serious. Extreme fatigue is a sign that your body is using energy to attempt to heal you.

Many people who turn out to have lung cancer were extremely fatigued early on in the disease and did not pay attention to this serious warning sign.

#3 Coughing

Everyone coughs when they get a cold or flu, but if you have a persistent cough that will not go away and you are not ‘sick,’ you should have it looked at right away. When you cough, this is the body’s natural response to some type of irritation in the respiratory system. But if the cough does not fade after a week, it could be because the irritant is still there, and it could be something serious.

A regular cough that does not go away is a major warning sign of most types of lung cancer.

#4 Back and Shoulder Pain

You might not think that pain in your back could be your lungs, but if you have pain in the shoulder blade area, it could be something serious. This is particularly common in women, who are more likely to get a type of lung cancer called adencarcinoma.

These tumors form in the outer areas of the lungs and they may add pressure on the spine and ribs.

#5 Hoarseness

If you hear someone with a hoarse voice, we usually think of them as a smoker. But if you suddenly become hoarse and it does not go away, this could be lung cancer.

Cancer in the lungs or bronchial tubes can cause the vocal cords to be inflamed and irritated, and can lead to hoarseness. If the hoarseness persists for more than three weeks, you should go to the doctor.

#6 Loss of Weight

If you are suddenly losing weight and you are not even trying, this is your body telling you that something could be wrong.

#7 Difficulty Swallowing

If you have swelling and inflammation in your respiratory system, you could find that swallowing is hard. Having a sore throat after a cold is no big deal, but if you cannot swallow easily for weeks, you should go to the doctor.

#8 Pain in Chest

If you have regular chest pain, especially in one area in or around the ribs, you should probably have a doctor check it out.

About Cancer Stages

All cases of cancer will vary depending upon the person, but there are similar features that all types of lung cancer and other cancers usually share. These features and attributes are important so that doctors can determine the best way for the cancer patient to be treated.

For most cancers including lung cancer, doctors will use a series of stages to assess how far along the cancer is and whether it has spread. If it has, they also want to know how far it has spread and to where.

Staging offers doctors a common language to communicate about your cancer so that they can more easily talk to other medical care professionals about the best way to treat you.

If you think that you may have lung cancer, you should see a medical professional and determine in which stage the cancer is, if you indeed have it. At that point, you may want to talk to a legal professional if you think you may have contracted the disease in a way that was not your fault.