• Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers today
  • Being able to identify its symptoms can also lead to early treatment
  • This "regular" thing you experience daily may be a sign of the deadly disease

Lung cancer is a deadly disease that begins when abnormal cells uncontrollably divide and forms a tumor in the lungs. During its early stages, the disease does not cause any noticeable symptoms until its later stages. When this happens, a series of symptoms may occur, including one that involves the way a person breathes. Such symptoms may interfere with the daily tasks of that person, making seemingly routine chores more difficult.

Unfortunately, when the disease spreads through the lungs and in other sections of the body, the outlook for such a condition may not be as promising compared to other cancer types. There is some bit of good news, though, as survival rates largely rest on how advanced the cancer is at the time of discovery. Early diagnosis of the disease can increase the chances of survival.

Warning Signs

Identifying the warning signs of lung cancer is vital to improving treatment outcomes. Shortness of breathing is one symptom of the disease that you should watch out for.

When you are not breathing in adequate amounts of oxygen, and the lungs attempt to draw more air in to compensate for it, shortness of breath occurs. Cancer Research UK, charitable cancer research and awareness organization, said that around five to seven out of ten lung cancer patients have this symptom at some time. This figure, however, sharply increases to nine out of ten for those who have advanced lung cancer.

As the research organization points out, this symptom may be an indirect result of the deadly disease since chest infections may also be a source of breathlessness. The organization also notes that those who suffer from lung cancer are more prone to infections.

Living with Breathlessness

It is difficult to live with this symptom. Aside from not being able to take in enough oxygen, you may feel heavily fatigued, and each task you perform would seem like an uphill climb. Some days may appear harder than other days.

lung cancer symptom breathless
lung cancer symptom breathless kalhh - Pixabay

Fortunately, there are a couple of things that can aid you in coping with this symptom. Cancer Research UK stated that when breathlessness sets in, you will find yourself breathing rapidly with your shoulders tensing up. Although this may appear to help you for a short time, it will be harder and tiring for you to breathe after a while.

To cope with breathlessness, try to take control of your breathing. Try to take oxygen in slowly through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Relax the shoulders while exhaling. It would also help to ask someone to press or massage your shoulders while performing this gently. When you do this frequently, you will notice you are breathing more deeply and slowly.