Before starting this subject off, you need to know that the symptoms for lung cancer are not the same with men and with women. Even though this may seem surprising to you, but as the symptoms of a heart disease differ from men to women, so do the symptoms of lung cancer.
Unfortunately, these symptoms are not that noticeable as those that imply a heart disease, and just because of it, the diagnose may be delayed.
Symptoms For Lung Cancer in Women
Why are the lung cancer symptoms different in women? – the symptoms a lot of people are familiar with when it comes to lung cancer are a constant cough and even coughing up blood. With women, especially the early signs are very subtle or even vague.
It can start with a shortness of breath during an activity. This can easily be dismissed because of weight gain or even age. As we mentioned that the symptoms are vague, they might include feeling a bit fatigue or not as good as you normally would feel.
Why the symptoms vary in men and in women? – one of the reasons why the symptoms are different is that the most common types of cancer vary with sexes – meaning that different types of cancer have different symptoms. Another reason is that more women than men, who are non-smokers, develop cancer.
The common type of cancer in non-smokers is different than the common type of cancer with smokers.
Symptoms that are related to the types of lung cancer –
Non small cell lung cancer
These are roughly 80 percent of all the lung cancers, and there are three types of it: Squamous cell carcinoma, Large cell carcinoma and Lung adenocarcinoma. In men, the squamous cell carcinoma is the most common one, because the cells grow in the center or near the airways, creating signs even early in the disease.
These are the symptoms we are all familiar with – coughing up blood, infections, chronic cough or even lung collapse.
In contrast, with women, the most common type is the adenocarcinoma, which grows in the outer regions of the lungs. These tumors can grow quite large before showing off any symptoms at all.
Some of the initial symptoms include shortness of breath, back pain or shoulder pain and fatigue. Some common areas that the lung cancer can spread to are the bones, the liver and the brain.
The majority of the cell lung cancers are due to excessive smoking, and this occurs more often in men than in women. The small cell lung cancer can usually begin hear the largest airways and spread right up to the brain.
Now, one form of a non-smoker cell lung cancer is more often found in women than in men, and that is is young women who have never smoked. It is the BAC (bronchioloalveolar carcinoma), which is a subtype of the lung adenocarcinoma.
It may present symptoms just like the other types of cancer, but it is vastly known for being a masquerader. The BAC can often be diagnosed as some other lung disease or pneumonia. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, this type of cancer seems to be more and more present.
What are the common symptoms of lung cancer in both of the sexes? – let’s review some of the most common symptoms found with men and women are: coughing up blood, shortness of breath, a persistent cough, wheezing, hoarseness, repeated lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
Are there any less common symptoms? – as we have already mentioned, the most common types of cancer in men tend to grow near the central airways. These are the tumor that tend to cause more symptoms in the early stages of the disease, and this is why all of the above mentioned symptoms can be noticed earlier in men than in women.
What you probably should be aware of are other group of symptoms, who have been occasionally seen in the lung cancer cases, and they are all called paraneoplastic syndrome. This particular group is mostly found with small cell lung cancer, squamous cell lung cancers and large cell carcinomas – these cancers are more often found in men.
These symptoms include a highly elevated level of calcium in the blood, a low sodium level, feeling of weakness in the upper limbs, losing coordination, muscle cramps and other similar symptoms.