This Face-Related Issue Could Indicate Lung Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), lung cancer is the second-most common type of cancer in both men and women. It’s estimated there will be more than 230,000 new lung cancer cases in the U.S. in 2022. If the cancer is discovered in the early stages, the chances of surviving it significantly increase, so it’s essential to pay attention to the symptoms. One unusual facial symptom could be a sign of lung cancer.

Read on to learn more about it.

Face Swelling

Facial edema (face swelling) happens when there’s a fluid buildup in the facial tissue, causing inflammation. Although face swelling is common and can result from multiple causes, like allergies or infections, this condition can be a sign of lung cancer.

Lung tumors can block the blood flow to the superior vena cava. This vein carries the blood from the upper body (head, face, neck, and upper chest) to the heart. When the blood can’t move through the vein, it stays trapped in the upper body, resulting in facial swelling. This condition is known as superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS), and it’s usually caused by cancer. According to a study published in BMJ Journals, 95% of SVCS cases are caused by lung cancer or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

How can you tell whether the facial swelling is caused by SVCS or something else? You’ll most likely notice the symptoms worsen when you lie down for an extended period. Most people experience other symptoms too, like shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing.

Visit Your Doctor

If your face is swollen without an apparent reason, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor. This especially goes for those who notice additional symptoms or have a cancer diagnosis. Facial swelling doesn’t have to mean cancer, but it’s always better to get it checked out.

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