Symptoms and diagnosis of secondary lung cancer


The symptoms of secondary lung cancer can include any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • A cough that does not go away or a change into a long-term cough
  • Repeated chest infections not helped by antibiotics
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Coughing up blood-stained phlegm
  • Pain in your chest, especially when you cough or breathe in
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Swelling around your face and neck
  • Difficulty swallowing

These are also the symptoms of primary lung cancer. If you have any of these symptoms or other ones not mentioned here, tell your cancer specialist, oncology liaison nurse or GP. But remember these can also be symptoms of other conditions.


Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may send you for the following tests:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Bronchoscopy

Chest X-ray: An X-ray of your chest can show anything abnormal in your lungs.

Bronchoscopy: For this test your doctor uses a bronchoscope, which is a small flexible tube with a camera. He or she passes the tube into your airways, through your nose or mouth, and right down into your lungs. Here your doctor can take photos and samples from the lung tissue (biopsy).

Other tests:

  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan

Learn more about the above tests

Call our National Cancer Helpline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm