Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Defend Against Lung Cancer - Lung Cancer Awarness

You Can Affect Your Risk

Because most lung cancer is caused by smoking, it is one of the easiest cancers to prevent. So it is important to stop smoking—or to stop being around someone else’s smoke.

Risk Factors

  • Age. The average age of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer is 70.
  • Being exposed to arsenic, asbestos, radioactive dust, radon or radiation
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke. If you live with a smoker, you have two to three times the risk for lung cancer compared with a person who lives in a nonsmoking environment.
  • Gender. Men are more likely to develop lung cancer than women.
  • Race. Black men are more likely to develop lung cancer than men of any other racial group.
  • Smoking


Even if you have smoked a long time, quitting can lower your chances of getting cancer. You also can lower your risk by ending your exposure to second-hand smoke. If you already have lung cancer, quitting makes your treatment work better and can help you live longer.


Early lung cancer doesn't usually cause any symptoms. That’s why we don’t often find it early.
In its advanced stage, cancer may affect how your lungs work. The first signs of lung cancer may include:

  • Coughing
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Having blood in any mucus that you cough up
  • Wheezing

Lung cancer may spread to the chest and then to other parts of the body. For example, if it spreads to the spine or bones, it may cause pain in the back or other bones or weakness in the arms or legs. If it spreads to the brain, it may cause seizures, headaches or vision changes.

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor or make an appointment with The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Non-smokers get lung cancer, too.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month-Precautions to take at Home.According to the American Cancer Society, every year, about 16,000 to 24,000 Americans die of lung cancer, even though they have never smoked.

Radon exposure is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year (range of 8,000 to 45,000).* 

What is radon?
Radon is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas that is produced by decaying uranium and occurs naturally in soil and rock.

 Read the complete Defend Yourself Against Lung Cancer infographic.


 *American Lung Association/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A Citizen’s Guide to Radon. January 2013