Clinical Presentation

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Smokers are at significant risk for lung cancer, but other patients can develop lung cancers as well, especially if they have significant secondary exposure to tobacco smoke or other carcinogens. History of asbestos exposure is a specific risk factor for the development of mesothelioma. Patients can present with respiratory symptoms such as a cough, hemoptysis, or shortness of breath, or they can present with constitutional symptoms such as fatigue and unexplained weight loss. In some cases a chest radiograph done for other reasons reveals a pulmonary nodule or mass lesion. In patients with metastatic pulmonary lesions, the symptoms of the primary cancer may be predominant or occult.

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