The absence of symptoms is admittedly a terrifying aspect of lung cancer. Indeed, lung cancer often produces no symptoms until it has started to spread outside of the lungs. The first symptom may be a seizure if the lung cancer has spread to the brain. Your doctor may suspect lung cancer after seeing a shadow on a routine chest X-ray that requires further evaluation.
Once a lung cancer diagnosis is confirmed, it is important to see if it has spread. Your doctor will ask questions about breathing changes, shortness of breath, coughing, pain and/or unexplained weight loss to get a better picture of what is happening inside your body. Some other symptoms can include pain in the chest, shoulder or back that is unrelated to pain from coughing; a change in color or volume of sputum; changes in the voice or being hoarse; and harsh sounds with each breath.
After a lung cancer diagnosis, you will need to discuss a few things with your doctor–such as the stage of the disease, the treatment options and how long you have to consider these options.