The lungs and the heart are among the most critical organs in the maintenance of homeostasis in the body, and lung cancer is an ailment that impairs the function that keeps us alive. It reduces people’s ability to breathe and their intake of oxygen. It is a progressive disease characterised by an overgrowth of cells in the lung tissue beyond their typical pattern of growth. Such an uncontrolled replication becomes a tumour and in time starts migrating to other areas of the body.
Lung cancer is difficult to identify in most cases because it leaves very few diagnostic clues, and sometimes there are no symptoms at all. The most common type of lung cancer is called non-small cell lung cancer, but sometimes patients may suffer from the other two categories: small cell lung cancer and lung carcinoid tumours. These are the most common symptoms you would find in most types of cancer:
The normal function of the lung includes taking in oxygen, taking out carbon dioxide, but also keeping the airways clear of obstruction. In this regard, cancer slowly becomes a problem and starts becoming a perceived blockage when it grows large enough. Thus, the airways activate cough as a defence mechanism to clear the airways from the tumour that’s pressing around the area.
As we could possibly guess, the tumour will not be moved by coughing but rather keep growing and making the symptoms worse as it does so. The type of cough you should be worried about is a chronic cough (lasting for 8 weeks or more) that does not go away, it is dry or with very little mucus, and becomes progressive through time. At some point, this cough is continuous day and night and may even interfere with sleep.