Lung cancer warning: An increasingly severe headache may be a sign the cancer has spread

Lung cancer warning: An increasingly severe headache may be a sign the cancer has spread


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As there are no pain receptors in the lungs, early signs of the condition aren’t likely. However, as soon as symptoms appear, make an appointment with your GP to help prevent it from spreading to other body parts.

The Mayo Clinic highlight symptoms of lung cancer, such as coughing up blood and chest pain.

Other signs include a new cough that doesn’t go away, shortness of breath, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss and bone pain.

“Lung cancer often spreads (metastasises) to other parts of the body, such as the brain,” said the Mayo Clinic.

Malignant brain tumours may include “headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe”.

Depending on the tumour’s size, location and rate of growth, signs of this vary greatly.

Generally speaking, brain tumours may also lead to a “new onset or change in pattern of headaches”.

A person may experience difficulty with balance and speech difficulties.

Known as a secondary brain tumour – as the cancer doesn’t begin in the brain – treatments are available to minimise symptoms and to help you live longer.

How do cancer cells move from the lungs to the brain? They travel through the bloodstream or the lymph system.

“If diagnosed and treated early, brain metastases usually respond to therapy,” affirmed the Mayo Clinic.

Examples of treatments include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, and medication.

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Medication may be used to ease swelling around the tumour and decrease neurological signs of the disease.

Surgery could be considered, but it does carry risk, such as injection and bleeding.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill tumour cells, but side effects are common.

Side effects may include fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or vertigo.

Is lung cancer preventable?

The best thing you can do for your health is to reduce your risk of lung cancer, which is totally doable.

The first step is to stop smoking, and to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.

Following on from that, test your home for radon, which is a known cancer-inducing gas.

Also take any necessary precautions to protect yourself from toxic fumes at work.

In addition, one must follow good health advice to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, and to exercise most days of the week.

Risk factors for developing lung cancer include exposure to specific toxins.

These are: asbestos, arsenic, chromium, nickel, radon gad and cigarette smoke.

You’re also at higher risk of the disease if there is a family history of lung cancer.

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