A sudden hoarse voice could mean many different things, but if combined with other symptoms of lung cancer, you should see your general physician.
This is especially important if hoarseness has lasted three weeks or more.
The main symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks or a long-standing cough that gets worse, persistent chest infections and coughing up blood.
Other main symptoms include pain when breathing or coughing, persistent breathlessness, persistent tiredness or lack of energy, and loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
It is advisable to see your general physician, if any of these symptoms are present.
Other less common symptoms of lung cancer include wheezing and persistent chest or shoulder pain.
Fever, difficulty or pain swallowing, changes in the appearance of the fingers, and swelling of the face or neck, are also less common symptoms.
“If you have any of these symptoms, it‘s important to have them checked by your GP,” said a doctor from Macmillan Cancer Support.
“Some of these symptoms can be caused by other conditions or by smoking. Lung cancer is occasionally diagnosed by chance when a person is having tests for another condition.”
As symptoms usually only appear once the cancer has spread through the lungs or into other parts of the body, it may often only be detected once the disease has progressed quite far.
This means the outlook for the condition isn’t as good as many other types of cancer.
Overall, about one in three people with the condition live for at least a year after they’re diagnosed, while about one in 20 people live at least 10 years.
“However, survival rates can vary widely, depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Early diagnosis can make a big difference,” said the NHS UK.
Lung cancer mainly affects older people and is rare in those under the age of 40. It is most common in people aged 70 to 74.
Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, accounting for over 85 per cent of cases; however it is possible to develop the disease even if you have never smoked.