A cyst on the lung is ultimately a lesion or nodule that is less than 3 cm in size. Often discovered purely by accident, these cysts aren't always cancerous. The majority of them are actually found to be benign (around 60 percent). But when they are diagnosed as malignant, these cancerous cysts tend to grow at a rather steady rate, taking over an ever-increasing amount of healthy lung tissue. If you were to develop a cancerous cyst within your lungs, you may or may not develop any discernible symptoms.
When a cancerous cyst is fairly small in size, it is common to present no symptoms of disease at all. This is largely due to the effect these small lesions have on your respiratory health, never impeding or impacting the function of your lungs. It isn't until the cyst grows in size that any symptoms begin to manifest.
Even when the cyst is small, it is possible to suffer from a minor cough that is mistakenly associated with a chest cold. This cough is rarely productive, but it may be somewhat persistent in nature, being difficult to shake. In some situations, this cough could be accompanied by other cold-like symptoms, such as a low-grade fever, muscle aches, fatigue and periodic headaches.
Along with this cough, you may begin to notice a slight wheeze or rasp as you take a breath, especially when the cancerous cyst has narrowed the airways to your lungs. This may prompt you to clear your throat more often or even cause some hoarseness with your voice.
Shortness of Breath
As the cancerous cyst grows in size, it isn't uncommon to experience a shortness of breath, sometimes in as little as month after the development of the cyst. For some people, this shortness of breath or windedness is subtle at first, noted more so during times of physical exertion. But as the cyst continues to grow in size, you can begin to experience a more pronounced respiratory problem, occurring even at times of rest.
You may also start to notice the presence of pain. And much like the shortness of breath, this pain can begin subtly at first and then become far more pronounced during the progression of the disease. Usually, this pain is isolated within the chest, but it may diffuse out into other areas of the body.
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