Lung Cancer - When To Call a Doctor
If you have been diagnosed with
lung cancer, be sure to follow your doctor's
instructions about calling when you have problems, new symptoms, or symptoms
that get worse.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you:
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Lung Cancer Treatment
As far as treatment goes, if the lung cancer can be successfully removed with surgery, the patient has an excellent chance of surviving at least one year, and usually a better than 50% chance of living for five years or more after that. The challenge is detecting lung cancer early enough to make surgery possible.
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Have new or sudden onset of chest pain that is crushing or
squeezing, is increasing in intensity, or occurs with any other
symptoms of a heart attack. Have new or sudden
difficulty breathing. Are coughing up a lot of blood (not just streaks of blood or a
small amount of blood mixed with a lot of mucus) from your lungs. Have been vomiting and feel that you may pass out when you sit up
or stand. Call your doctor immediately for medical evaluation if you have: Labored, shallow, rapid breathing with shortness of breath or
wheezing, even when you are resting. Swelling of your neck and face.
Call your doctor to find out when an evaluation is needed
Have new chest pain (more than just discomfort when you cough)
that lasts a long time and gets worse when you breathe deeply. Develop symptoms of
pneumonia, such as shortness of breath, cough, and
fever. Have a cough that produces a small amount of bloody (bright red
or rust-colored) sputum. Frequently cough up yellow or green sputum from your lungs (not
postnasal drainage) for longer than 2 days. Vomit frequently from coughing. Have a cough that lasts longer than 4 weeks. Breathe normally when you are at rest but are very short of
breath after any physical exercise. Have increasing fatigue for no apparent reason. Have unexplained weight loss. Watchful Waiting
Watchful waiting is a period of time during
which you and your doctor observe your condition or symptoms but you do not
receive medical treatment. Watchful waiting is
appropriate if you have symptoms that do not go away. If you are concerned
about your symptoms and believe you may be at risk for lung cancer, call and
make an appointment with your doctor.
It often is difficult to
decide when to see a doctor for respiratory symptoms. See the topic
Respiratory Problems, Age 12 and Older to find out if
and when you need to see your doctor. Who To See
Health professionals who can evaluate your symptoms
and your risk for
lung cancer include:
Health professionals who can evaluate and treat your lung
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.