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Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer symptoms vary from person to person, and sometimes people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may include:

  • A cough that does not go away and gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain, often made worse by deep breathing, coughing or laughing
  • Arm or shoulder pain
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Repeated episodes of pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Clubbing of fingers

If lung cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may cause:

  • Bone pain
  • Arm or leg weakness or numbness
  • Headache, dizziness or seizure
  • Jaundice (yellow coloring) of skin and eyes
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or shoulder

These symptoms do not always mean you have lung cancer. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may also signal other health problems.

In rare cases, lung cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Visit our genetic testing page to learn more.

Some people have an elevated risk of developing lung cancer. Review the lung cancer screening guidelines to see if you need to be tested.  

Behavioral and lifestyle changes can help prevent lung cancer. Visit our prevention and screening section to learn how to manage your risk.

Clinical Trials

MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials
offering promising new treatments that cannot be found anywhere else.

Knowledge Center

Find the latest news and information about lung cancer in our Knowledge Center, including blog posts, articles, videos, news releases and more.