There are no nerve endings in the lungs. This means that a person can have a large tumor in their lungs without even noticing it. This, combined with the fact that lung cancer patients rarely display early stage symptoms, makes early diagnosis almost unheard of. This alone can be life-threatening, as growing tumors intrude on blood vessels and thus shunt blood away from healthy tissue. The other problem associated with lung cancer is, given enough time, cancer can metastasize.
Metastatic cancer is one which has spread to another part of the body. It is named according to where cancer first formed. This is because when a tumor is examined, it has cells which are specific to the original growth site. A tumor spreads when its size has increased substantially enough to require further space for growth. Cancer can metastasize by either intruding on the tissue which is nearby or by breaking off and traveling via the bloodstream or lymphatic system to a completely different part of the body.
Lung cancer can metastasize to the liver. This would then result in a completely different set of symptoms, which are totally apart from lung disease symptoms. These could include nausea following eating, a pain under the right ribs and lastly, jaundice.
Jaundice is caused by unnatural amounts of bilirubin in the blood, this is what results in the yellow appearance of the eyes and skin. This condition clearly signifies a problem with one’s liver as it is liver cells which process and aid in the excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice does not always signify lung cancer. But, the liver is a common sight for lung cancer metastasis and it could very well be because of lung cancer.