Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK, with nearly 50,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.
The risk factors for this disease, also known as bronchopulmonary cancer or bronchial cancer, are mainly environmental or occupational, and cigarettes and passive smoking are the first on the list.
Lung cancer: an early symptom of the disease not yet identified?
In the early stages of its development, lung cancer generally presents very few symptoms. Localized chest and throat pain and a persistent cough usually start to appear later. But according to a recent study, an early warning sign could alert the patient earlier, leading to a quicker diagnosis and better treatment.
According to Dr Stephen Darcy, as reported by The Express, pain in the heel could be a warning sign of the disease. This pain, located at the back of the foot, could, according to the specialist, be caused by the formation of a blood clot in the foot.
By following one of his patients, a 63-year-old man who was a heavy smoker and who had reported pain in his right heel for a month or two, Dr Stephen Darcy was able to link this particular symptom to the patient's lung cancer.
Dr Stephen Darcy, warns of the importance of observing certain unrecognised symptoms that can help in an earlier diagnosis. Nevertheless, he says that the 'phenomenon of acrometastasis of a primary lung cancer to the foot remains relatively rare.'
Lung cancer: the most common symptoms
Although in the early stages of the disease there are usually no symptoms, which makes early diagnosis difficult, there are some signs that can appear later on and alert the patient:
- A persistent cough that gets worse
- Repeated shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing
- Chest or shoulder pain
- Repeated lung infections, such as bronchitis
- Abnormal voice changes
- Blood in the sputum
- Severe and prolonged fatigue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sudden loss of appetite, abnormal weight loss