Lung cancer signs: Symptoms in your fingers, other areas

December 31, 2021
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Lung cancer can start in any part of the lungs or airways, and is more common as you get older. Around 45 out of 100 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK are aged 75 and older, according to Cancer Research UK.

The NHS says that there are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages, though symptoms of lung cancer develop as the condition progresses. Cancer can spread into the lung from other parts of the body.

The NHS has outlined some less common symptoms of lung cancer, which some people may not be aware of.

These actually include changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger. This is known as finger clubbing.

Some people may also notice swelling of their face or neck, or persistent chest or shoulder pain.

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Cancer Research says that the most common symptoms of lung cancer are having a cough most of the time, having a change in a cough you have had for a long time, and chest infections that keep coming back or a chest infection that doesn’t get better.

The charity adds that losing your appetite, feeling tired all the time, and losing weight are all signs.

Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of lung cancer in the UK. Cancer Research says seven out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking.

The NHS says if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker.

If you do not smoke, frequent exposure to other people’s smoking can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

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Your risk of lung cancer is higher if you have a close relative (such as a parent or sibling) who has had lung cancer.

Exposure to certain chemicals and substances which are used in several occupations and industries may increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

The NHS says research also suggests that being exposed to diesel fumes over many years increases your risk of developing lung cancer.

It notes: “One study has shown your risk of developing lung cancer increases by around 33 percent if you live in an area with high levels of nitrogen oxide gasses.”

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