Pain in the rib cage and chest cavity can be a tell-tale sign of lung cancer. Often ignored until it's too late, the pain can be an important warning to seek medical attention and treatment.
Why It Hurts
As lung cancer tumors form and grow, they can begin to press on the rib cage, which surrounds and protects the lungs, according to Lung Pain.org. The pressure often leads to chest and rib pain.
Pain Symptoms as a Warning
Any kind of rib or chest pain is an important sign to seek medical attention and possible testing for cancerous tumors.
Why It's Often Too Late
Unfortunately, by the time rib or chest pain symptoms arise, cancer growth may be so advanced that chances of curing it are poor.
Small Cell vs. Non-Small Cell
Small cell lung cancer is more aggressive and often too advanced to effectively treat upon diagnosis, according to Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. Wrong Diagnosis.com reports this type of cancer is most often associated with chest pain as a symptom. Treatment for small cell lung cancer often includes chemotherapy and radiation.
Non-small cell lung cancer often is more isolated and treatable with surgery most of the time.
Other lung cancer symptoms may include a new cough, a bloody cough, pneumonia, hoarseness, loss of appetite or weight, facial swelling and headaches, according to Cedars-Sinai.