Jump to content

How Can You Know if Your Lung Cancer Has Spread?


Recommended Posts

How Can You Know if Your Lung Cancer Has Spread?

By Lynne Eldridge MDFebruary 26, 2014

I was recently asked a very important question - and one that I'm sure many of you have entertained. How can you know if your lung cancer has spread?

Unfortunately the spread of lung cancer to distant regions of the body is all too common - and roughly 40% of people already have metastatic disease (lung cancer that has spread) at the time of diagnosis.

For those who have their lung cancer discovered at early stages of the disease, surgery offers a chance for a cure. But even with surgery, lung cancer can rear it's head later on in the form of metastases. How will you know if this has happened?

First of all it helps to know the most common areas to which lung cancer spread. The most common site is to local lymph nodes. Lung cancer spread to lymph nodes often occurs without symptoms, but can affect the treatment your doctor recommends as well as your prognosis. Other common sites of metastases include the brain, bones, the liver, and the adrenal glands.

When lung cancer spreads to the brain, symptoms may include headaches, seizures, loss of coordination, speech problems, or changes in personality.

Spread to the liver may result in jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the skin. Itching, often severe, is another symptom that may occur with liver metastases.

Bone metastases often result in pain. These may also result in numbness and weakness of the legs when they occur in the spine.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.