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Old 08-18-2005, 01:47 PM   #1
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There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

I thought there would be some signs if someone was diagnosed with lung cancer. It must be like ovarian cancer you really have no symptoms? Until a check up or something.

 
Old 08-18-2005, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

My parents doctors told me the same, there are no diagnosing symptoms for lung cancer. Coughing, shortness of breath, pain in chest are not usually present until stage III or later.

More the reason to have a yearly check up, especially if you smoke.

 
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Old 08-18-2005, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

I can not say that I agree that there are no symptoms of lung cancer until the late stages as rather I think there can be vague symptoms that do not seem to be seen as symptoms yet. In the case of my mom she has always been a healthy non smoker.In 2000 she started developing shortness of breath with activity. The doctors did Xrays,heart tests and full pulmonary function tests but everything came back normal. Next they did a spiral CT looking for a pulmonary embolism(blood clot in lung) it came back negative and her CT was normal. Over the next four years she continued to complain about shortness of breath but unlike some one with COPD she did not wheeze at all. She also started complaining of excessive sweating and in 2003-2004 she lost alot of weight. The doctor never could find any problems until June 2004 when she got extremely short of breath and went to urgent care where they did an xray and was told she had a large pleural effussion which turned out to be a malignant pleural effussion and was how we learned she had stage IV NSCLC. In 4 short years she went from nothing being seen on a CT to stage IV so it is obvious now that the shortness of breath was a very early symptom of the cancer. I think more often then not people say they were suprized as they claim to have no symptoms yet now I wonder how many others had vague symptoms like she did and just did not make the connection? It is somewhat the same in Ovarian cancer as alot of people do have a bloated feeling that was not associated with the cancer until it was much more advanced while it too could be a possible early warning sign.

 
Old 08-18-2005, 08:35 PM   #4
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Your mothers story could be mine.

I couldn't describe the symptoms I was having years ago so they ran stress test and heart test. Everything came back normal.

Looking back now it was shortness of breath when I was driving also and most likely a symptom of lung cancer. It got to where I was having flu like symptoms several times through out the year after previously always being healthy.

Last December the shortness of breath became very noticable especially in the car, and the flu like symptoms were sending me home from work early.

Like your mother I went to an urgent care had a chest x-ray and it turned out I had a malignant pleural effusion and was sent to the E.R. Within 3 days I was a stage IV terminal cancer patient.

 
Old 08-20-2005, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Hi there! I just wanted to say that my step-dad, whom I loved very much, lost his battle with cancer last October. When he was diagnosed it was a shock to all of us. My Mother had taken him to a clinic thinking he had the flu or bronchitis. Of course by then, it was inoperable. He had been working and we thought healthy, just a really bad chronic cough. Fortunately the clinic doc saw something on he xrays and sent him to the hospital to have more tests run. Point being, I don't think there are any "clear cut" symptoms.

God's love be with you all...

Angel~Voice

 
Old 08-21-2005, 02:58 AM   #6
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Sorry for your loss, was your Step Dad a smoker?

 
Old 08-21-2005, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Hi there! Yes, when he was in the Air Force he was a smoker. But it is my understanding he quit years ago. He was married to my Mother for 14 years and I had NEVER seen him smoke. He did however dip skoal.

There was some concern from the VA about him having Agent Orange because he served in Vietnam. They wondered if that had anything to do with him having lung cancer. The government did compensate him for the time he had left after his diagnosis as well as found him 100% disabled.

May God bless you...

Angel~Voice

 
Old 08-22-2005, 08:51 AM   #8
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

My brother, 49, passed away last year. He had stage IIIB nc lung cancer and had been diagnosed 9 months before he passed away. He had a bad cough. Got bronchitus quite often and then pnemonia. He told me that after going on like this for 3 years, his doctor told him something else was going on. Now if my brother listened to his fiance, he would have been checked out a lot sooner. Treatment could have prolonged his life. When he found out, it was inoperable and he was given 1 to 5 years. He was a heavy smoker and did not quite when diagnosed either. What a nasty, strong-hold habit smoking is. I used to smoke over 25 years ago for 10 years. I don't know what symptoms you have to have in order for your doctor to do the tests needed to detect cancer, but if you are concerned, look into it.
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Old 08-22-2005, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Okay, this really had me wondering so I called and asked to have lunch with my dads' pulmonary doctor. I asked him does lung cancer have symptoms. He said that no cancer has true tell symptoms. It is the combination of several symptoms that do not react to standard treatments that alerts a physician and the patient that something more serious is or has developed. Only a few types of cancer can be discovered through routine testing. Seeing a nodule on an x-ray, or elevated levels in blood work will tell the doctor to look further into the problem but will not say that cancer is the culprite. A PET scan can determine if a nodule is cancerous or benign if the perameters are set to detect it as so. Since a PET scan is so expensive and not covered by most insurance companies it is usually not a test that is run unless absolutely necessary. Lukemia can be determined by blood work but the panel would have to be requested since it is not a standard test that is preformed.
He also said that most GPs will see a patient with symptoms that are leading towards cancer maybe once a year. He has a higher rate of cancer patients because of his speciality in pulmonary just as other specialist but he still will begin with outruling more common illnesses before looking for cancer as being the cause.

Casey

 
Old 08-22-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Hello,
I would agree that there are no symptoms for lung cancer. My mom was diagnosed with stage IIIB or IV (they said it's so close, it's hard to tell) about two and a half months ago. The only way we found out, was that she finally got pneumonia. They did a chest x-ray, and found a mass on her right lung. So, even at the most advanced stages, she really had no symptoms until she came down with pneumonia. Although, I am sure, everyone is different, and some people do have shortness of breath, cough, or chest pain. I wish my mom would have had something, then we wouldn't be in this mess.....

 
Old 08-22-2005, 07:54 PM   #11
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddycole
Hello,
Although, I am sure, everyone is different, and some people do have shortness of breath, cough, or chest pain. I wish my mom would have had something, then we wouldn't be in this mess.....
Misty don't waste time thinking if your mom had had symptoms things would be better as I posted earlier, my mom did have a vague short of breath feeling 4 years prior and all tests including a CT showed nothing and here she is 4 short years later satge IV NCSLC. There are no clear cut symptoms in most cases and vague symptoms get written off when they can not find a cause. In my mom's case I am a bit angry that over those 4 years when she still had that short of breath feeling with activity then complained of sweating alot that her doctor didn't really do much to check it out again.Had they checked it out when the 2nd problem started maybe they would have found it at stage I . But it is water under the bridge now so I try not to play the " I wish game" as we can't go back and change it now. All said I do agree that there are no clear cut symptoms but when a patient has vague symptoms and they find nothing maybe a year later if the symptoms are still there they should check it out again because I have met several lung cancer victims that also claimed to have a vague sense of feeling short of breath a year or more before they learned they had lung cancer some just wrote it off tp aging which it is not a symptom of. Listen to your body as often it does tell you in some silent way that something is not right. Janmarie

 
Old 09-29-2005, 02:49 AM   #12
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Alright you lot, you've scared the absolute begeesus out of me... I've had a shortness of breath for several months, puffing and panting after no strenuous activity and very noticable when I go running at lunchtime... the GP is trying to tell me I have asthma. I reckon that's rubbish - I gave up smoking nearly 3 years ago when my husband was dx, since when do you get asthma AFTER giving up smoking (anyone feel free to jump in here and tell me it does happen...!!) - and why doesn't a puffer make the person sitting on my chest get off then?

*sigh*

I hate this disease...

 
Old 09-30-2005, 04:34 PM   #13
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

You can develop Asthma any time in your life. Did you have pulmonary function tests to diagnose the asthma? If not get one as too many doctors like to assume any breathing problem is asthma. Did they do a cardiac work up as shortness of breath is also a sign of cardiac problems. I don't know how old you are or how long you smoked but you could also have some emphysema going on. There are many reasons people feel short of breath but in my mom's case they ran all those tests and came up blank, even that earlier CT did not show the cancer but neverless they did rule out the other causes of shortness of breath on her. She had them stumped but they did know what it was not. If it feels like you have a person sitting on your chest I would ask the doctor for some tests as the first thing I think of when there is a pressue like that is angina which is the heart not the lungs. Do you feel tight and wheeze and or cough alot as that would make me think asthma and the inhaler should make you feel better unless you have so much inflammation in your airways that you need some steriods to get over it but I would have it checked out further if I was you. If you feel it is more then asthma listen to yourself as our bodies do tell us when things are wrong. Best of Luck to you.

 
Old 10-07-2005, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

JANMARIE2 HI THERE THIS IS KAMMY-- MY HUSBAND PAST AWAY SEPT. 8. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME IT THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVERY HAD TO FACE IN LIFE. COMING HOME WITH OUT HIM. I KNOW THAT HE IS IN A BETTER PLACE AND HE IS NOT IN PAIN BUT THAT DOES KEEP ME FROM MISSING HIM. NON SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER IS A HORRIBLE DEADLY CANCER AND I PRAY FOR ANYONE THAT IS HAVING TO GO THREW WITH WHAT I DID. WE WERE SITTING ON THE SIDE OF THE BED AND TALKING HE TOLD ME HE LOVE ME AND THE NEXT THING I KNEW HE WAS GONE. HE JUST WHEN TO SLEEP . THE DR. SAID PROBABLY HEART ATTACK OR BLOOD CLOT.PLESE REMEMBER ME IN YOUR PRAYERS.
KAMMY

 
Old 10-10-2005, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: There are no symptoms to lung cancer?

Kammy, I am so sorry to hear about your husband and yes I will keep you in my prayers. I know you have some difficult times ahead. My aunt that died from ovarian cancer had her family all around her and had been in and out of it when she woke up and told them all that she loved them then she too went to sleep and died. I have seen this many times at the hospital which leads me to believe that some people know when death is near.The pain you are feeling must be very hard to deal with just know that you are not alone. . I was away all last week so am just catching up on what has been going on on this site. I am a huge dog lover and spent the week in Knab Utah volunteering at Best Friends animal sanctuary and have to tell you all it was great. I was able to forget all about my mom's cancer and any other issues and just relax and have a great time getting loved by all those dogs! If any one needs an escape from life and loves animals I highly recommend it.Now it is back to the real world. My prayers go out to all of you in this battle. JanMarie

 
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