Lung cancer can start anywhere in the lungs and may affect any part of the Reference respiratory system Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. This can cause breathing or heart problems, such as:
- Pleural effusion, which is the buildup of fluid between the outer lining of the lungs and the chest wall. This is a common condition with lung cancer.
- Coughing up large amounts of bloody sputum.
- Collapse of a lung (Reference pneumothorax Opens New Window).
- Blockage of the airway (bronchial obstruction).
- Recurrent infections, such as Reference pneumonia Opens New Window.
- Pericardial effusion, which is the buildup of fluid in the space between the heart and the sac around the heart (pericardium). This condition is not common with lung cancer.
As lung cancer grows, it may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Lung cancer is classified in Reference stages, which describe how far the cancer has grown and spread.
The long-term outcome (prognosis) for lung cancer depends on how much the cancer has grown and spread.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology