Lung cancer

Apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, lung cancer is the most common cancer in Australia both in terms of incidence and death, accounting for at least 20% of cancer deaths. 1 In the United States it accounts for 35% of cancer deaths in men and 21% of deaths in women. Only 10-25% are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis but lung cancer can cause an extraordinary variety of clinical symptoms and signs with a reputation for several paraneoplastic syndromes. The paraneoplastic syndromes include hypercalcaemia, Cushing's syndrome, carcinoid syndrome, dermatomyositis, visual loss progressing to blindness from retinal degeneration, cerebellar degeneration and encephalitis.

The presentation of cough and chest pain renders it less of an 'occult' malignancy than several other types.

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