When detected in its earliest stages, lung cancer can often be successfully treated and sometimes even cured. But, time is of the essence. If the condition is misdiagnosed or its symptoms are ignored, a patient may not receive appropriate treatment until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. For this reason, it is important to seek prompt medical attention for any unusual symptoms, such as a nagging cough that does not go away after a few days. It can also be helpful to request a second opinion of any diagnosis if the recommended course of treatment does not promptly alleviate the issue.
Other medical conditions that may produce lung cancer symptoms
Many of the early symptoms of lung cancer, such as shortness of breath and coughing up blood, are also associated with other diseases. For instance, these complications can often be attributed to:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Acid reflux
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Encysted lung effusion
- Lung abscesses
- Lung nodules
- Thoracic Hodgkin’s disease
- Pulmonary embolism
A misdiagnosis of early symptoms can significantly impact a patient’s outcome and quality of life. At Moffitt Cancer Center, the multispecialty team in our Thoracic Oncology Program ensures a high level of accuracy by offering a full range of the latest diagnostic tests as well as second opinions for patients who have already been diagnosed with lung cancer. No referral is required to meet with our specialists.
Through extensive research, Moffitt continues to lead the way in transforming the treatment of lung cancer for all current and future patients. Our team oversees a wide range of clinical trials and lab studies, and our goal is to put our findings to work for our patients as quickly as possible. In recognition of these efforts, we’ve been designated a Lung Cancer Center of Excellence by the National Cancer Institute.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Shafique.