Chest pain is the most obvious sign of lung cancer, but there are plenty of other signals you should know about—even if you’ve never smoked. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women in the US, and up to 20% of people who die from it have never smoked at all.
Why might a nonsmoker get lung cancer? Exposure to radon (an odorless gas found in homes) is often to blame, explains Robert McKenna, Jr., MD, a thoracic surgeon at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. Other possible culprits include air pollution, secondhand smoke, and environmental hazards like asbestos.
Whether you smoke regularly or have never lit up in your life, keep an eye out for the following symptoms. Although there are plenty of less nefarious reasons why these issues might crop up, play it safe and discuss them with your doctor.