What Does Lung Cancer Feel Like?

In its early stages, lung cancer presents few symptoms, explains the American Cancer Society, so a person with early lung cancer feels normal. As the disease progresses, he may experience chest pain that is exacerbated by deep breathing, laughing or coughing.

A person with lung cancer is likely to have a persistent cough that may worsen, notes the American Cancer Society, and he may cough up blood or sputum. His voice may become hoarse; he may feel tired and weak; and he may experience shortness of breath, wheezing and frequent bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia. His appetite may diminish, leading to weight loss.

Lung cancer often spreads to the liver, adrenal glands, bones, brain and lymph nodes, at which point it causes a variety of other symptoms, according to CancerCare. The eyes and skin may take on a yellowish color if the cancer spreads to the liver. Headaches, weakness, balance problems and dizziness may occur if the cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord. Pain in the bones or joints is likely if the cancer spreads to the bones. If the lymph nodes are affected, lumps may appear on the body. The American Cancer Society urges people who notice signs or symptoms of lung cancer to visit a doctor for an evaluation. The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment.