Physical Symptoms and Functional Status
Lung cancer is associated with a wide range of serious physical symptoms affecting the patients everyday life. The symptoms are not always specific for lung cancer (eg, dyspnea, cough, fatigue) and are shared with other respiratory diseases. However, some physical symptoms are more specific for lung cancer (eg, pain from metastases, weight loss, and anorexia), and lead to more serious physical and functional consequences for the lung cancer patient. Detailed reviews of medical symptoms in lung cancer are available.
There is often a lag time of several weeks between the initial symptoms and the final diagnosis of lung cancer in industrialized and developing countries. This delay may partly be explained by the patients fear, especially in smokers, and by the physicians’ minimizing of symptoms. Treatments for lung cancer often burden the patient with additional physical symptoms. The side effects of cancer treatment have been reviewed elsewhere. birth control yasmin
The patient’s performance status is an important concept in lung cancer. Performance status is the patients ability to do certain physical activities, especially related to mobility, work, and self-care. The physical symptoms of lung cancer have a serious impact on the individuals performance status.