Is your face and neck swollen? Seven unlikely signs of lung cancer revealed

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, according to the NHS.

The condition mainly affects older people, with most diagnoses appearing in people aged between 70 and 74.

Smoking accounts for over 85 per cent of all lung cancer cases.

Lung cancer symptoms don’t tend to show until it’s spread to other parts of the body. That means that just one in three lung cancer patients survive after a year of diagnosis.

These are seven unlikely signs you could have the condition, and should get checked by a medical professional.

Finger clubbing

Clubbing is a condition where the fingers and toes broaden at their tips, and the nails curve and thicken.

It’s believed to be caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood, according to charity Cancer Research UK.

Clubbing occurs in lung cancer patients with hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy (HPOA).

“People with lung conditions can get HPOA,” said the charity.

“It affects about five out of every 100 people with cancer of the windpipe [bronchus] or lung. In cancer, it is most common in people with non small cell lung cancer.

“We don't really know why some people with lung cancer get it and others don’t.”

Neck and face swelling

Swelling of the face and neck could be a sign of lung cancer, according to the NHS.

It could be caused by a lung tumour pressing against the vein which delivers blood to the heart from the head and arms.

Bone pain

A pain in the back or hips could also be a symptom of lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

This would be the case if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Cough that won’t go away

Some lung cancer patients report a recurrent cough that persists for months, or even years.

But, a cough that doesn’t leave after just two or three weeks could be a sign of the cancer, and should be checked by a GP, the NHS said.


Lung cancer symptoms include debilitating fatigue, that doesn’t budge even after a coffee boost.

It’s caused by chemicals being released into the blood from the cancer. The chemicals can affect oxygen levels in the blood.

Muscle weakness

Persistent muscle weakness could be caused by hormones released by cancer cells.

“Some types of lung cancer cells produce hormones that go into the bloodstream,” said Cancer Research UK.

“These hormones can cause symptoms that don’t seem related to the lung cancer. Doctors call them paraneoplastic syndrome.”

Drowsiness, blood clots and pins and needles are other hormone-related symptoms of lung cancer.

High calcium levels

Some forms of lung cancer can lead to high calcium levels, as the cancer makes calcium leak out of your bones into the bloodstream.

Having too much calcium in the blood can cause drowsiness. In some cases, it can lead to a coma, and even death.