End stage or advanced lung cancer is a deadly disease. The median survival following diagnosis of advanced lung cancer is eight to 10 months, according to the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database.
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The most common symptoms of advanced, late stage lung cancer include weight loss, pain in bones, constipation, early satiety, dyspnea, lack of energy, fatigue, weakness and anorexia, according to a 2000 article published in the journal "Supportive Care In Cancer."
Most of the symptoms of advanced lung cancer listed are present in 50 to 84 per cent of patients at the time of diagnosis, according to the study published in "Supportive Care In Cancer." Weight loss of more than 10 per cent occurs in 50 per cent of patients.
Patients with end-stage advanced lung cancer tend to have multiple symptoms at the time of diagnosis, according to the book "Clinical Oncology." This is referred to as polysymptomatic.
Less Frequent Symptoms
Other less frequent symptoms of advanced lung cancer include diarrhoea, blackouts, itching, tremor and aches. Blackouts occur in 3 per cent of patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, according to the study published in "Supportive Care In Cancer." Blackouts tend to be associated with younger patients.
Most patients will experience pain either in the chest, bones or other parts of the body, according to the book "Clinical Oncology." Bone pain is due to the presence of metastatic lung cancer in the bone. Chest pain is due to the growing tumour pressing on one of the large veins in the chest. Headaches are due to the presence of metastatic lung cancer in the brain.
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- Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database: Lung Cancer
- "Clinical Oncology," Abeloff et al., 2007, Elsevier
- "Supportive Care In Cancer": The symptoms of advanced cancer: relationship to age, gender, and performance status in 1,000 patients, Walsh et al., Volume 8, Number 3/March, 2000