Hearing the words “lung cancer” can bring about a lot of emotions. It can be helpful to have a better understanding of what metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is.

What is non-small cell lung cancer?

Lung cancer occurs when the cells in your lungs start to grow unusually or uncontrollably. The most common type of lung cancer is called non-small cell lung cancer.

As more cancer cells grow, they can form a tumor. The disease can advance, spreading to other parts of the body. This is called metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

What are some non-small cell lung cancer symptoms?

There can be many different symptoms associated with NSCLC. It is important to be aware of what they are so that you can discuss them with your healthcare provider.

The most common signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit
  • Chest pain that may get worse when taking deep breaths, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

When lung cancer spreads to parts of your body outside of your lungs (metastatic lung cancer), it can cause other symptoms, which may include:

  • Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the face
  • Bulging veins on the neck and head
  • Lumps in the neck or above the collarbone
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Headache
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or a leg
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Seizures    

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