The “BREATHE” principle describes the key symptoms of lung cancer. It’s worth knowing them

The “BREATHE” principle describes the key symptoms of lung cancer. It’s worth knowing them


Unfortunately, lung cancer can develop in the body for a long time before the patient realizes that something is wrong. This is due to the fact that in the early stages the disease may not make itself felt.


7 Key Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Most of the symptoms of lung cancer are similar to those of other conditions. Many patients have no signs until the cancer is advanced.


The Lung Cancer Research Foundation highlights key lung cancer symptoms that should prompt you to see your doctor. Each first letter of the symptoms in English forms the word breathe :


B – ( blood ) – blood when coughing or spitting,

R – ( recurring respiratory infections ) – recurring respiratory infections,

E – ( enduring cough ) – persistent cough that is a new symptom or is unusual,

A – ( ache or pain in shoulder, back or chest ) – neck, back or chest pain,

T – ( trouble breathing ) – breathing problems,

H – ( hoarseness or wheezing ) – hoarseness or wheezing ,

E – ( exhaustion ) – exhaustion.

Other symptoms of lung cancer that should be consulted with a specialist include swelling of the neck and face, difficulty swallowing and weight loss.


How is lung cancer diagnosed?

Diagnosing this cancer can be a multi-step process. Usually, the patient first reports the symptoms to the general practitioner. Based on the medical history and physical examination, e.g. auscultation of the heart and lungs, the specialist may refer the patient for further diagnostics.


The doctor usually orders imaging tests and blood tests. The first test performed is often  a chest X-ray . The next steps may include, for example, a CT scan of the chest.




4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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