Signs and symptoms of lung cancer

Symptoms of lung cancer include a cough, repeated chest infections, breathlessness, unexplained pain, weight loss or tiredness.

Lung cancer may not always have symptoms early on. Sometimes it is found by chance when a person is having tests for another condition.

The symptoms of lung cancer can include:

  • a cough for 3 weeks or more
  • a change in a cough you have had for a long time
  • a chest infection that does not get better, or repeated chest infections
  • feeling breathless and wheezy for no reason
  • coughing up blood
  • chest or shoulder pain that does not get better
  • a hoarse voice for 3 weeks or more.

Other possible symptoms are:

  • loss of appetite
  • losing weight for no obvious reason
  • feeling tired.

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to get them checked by your GP.

Many of these symptoms can be caused by other lung conditions or by smoking.

Less common symptoms

These may include:

  • the tips of fingers becoming more curved or larger – called finger clubbing
  • pain in the shoulder travelling down the arm.

If lung cancer is more advanced, it may cause different conditions that have their own symptoms.

We understand that showing any symptoms of what could be cancer is worrying. The most important thing is to speak to your GP as soon as possible. We're also here if you need someone to talk to. You can:

Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.