Does Lung Cancer Cause Night Sweats?

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If you wake in the night and find your bedding & bedclothes drenched (even though the temperature in your bedroom is cool), this is what we call as night sweats or excess sweating during sleep. It can be very bothersome and annoying. The good news, it is usually harmless. However, sometime it is linked to serious condition. Does lung cancer cause this abnormal sweating, too?

Understanding night sweats in general

image_illustration370Anyone can occasionally awaken after sweating excessively, especially true if your bedroom temperature is too warm or if you sleep with too many blankets. For such case, it is normal (not a symptom of a medical condition) and there should be nothing to worry about.

But this is considered abnormal when it is linked to some underlying causes. In this scenario, you can perspire excessively even though you are not sleeping under too many blankets or if the temperature of your bedroom is cool.

Night sweats can be attributed by many different causes. There are numerous different conditions that can lead to this symptom.


It is the phase of when the menstrual period in women is end. In other words, it is the time of when a woman ends her reproductive age.

The imbalance of female hormones (especially the decline in estrogen) is the answer. Estrogen starts decreasing in the lead-up to menopause (a phase called perimenopause).

Lower estrogen as the age can lead to some physical and emotional symptoms. Hot flushes are one of them. And they can occur at night, causing excessive sweating during sleep. In women, this is a common cause of night sweats.


This symptom may also signal an infection, particularly such as tuberculosis (a bacterial infection). In the body, bacteria that cause tuberculosis can live in their non-active form. Therefore, there is usually no early symptom of the infection until it becomes advanced.

When the body immune system is weak, bacteria will active and cause damage to tissues /organs they infect. Even this infection can be serious if left untreated.

Other infections that may lead to night sweats are HIV infection, heart valve infection (endocarditis), and a bone infection (such as osteomyelitis).

Low blood sugar

It is medically called hypoglycemia, and can be attributed by several factors. But it is usually found in diabetics especially those who take insulin (see more in here).

Hypoglycemia can strike at night. And when it strikes, you can perspire excessively and experience other symptoms.

Hormonal disorders

A number of conditions can lead to the imbalance of hormones. Some can lead to night sweats. These include over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and pheochromocytoma.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of when your thyroid it is too active in producing thyroid hormones. As a result your body’s metabolism goes faster than usual, causing a range of symptoms. See more about hyperthyroidism in this section!

Pheochromocytoma is a benign (typically non-cancer) growth that occurs from cells of adrenal glands (there are two adrenal glands, each of these glands above each kidney). If there is something goes awry in the adrenal glands, you can have hormonal imbalance since they have function to produce some essential hormones.

Sleep apnea (especially obstructive sleep apnea)

Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing repeatedly discontinues and starts. It is typically characterized by loudly snoring, particularly true if you still feel tired after having a full night’s sleep.

There are several types of sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea is the type that commonly linked to night sweats. It occurs when the throat’s walls relax & narrow during sleep, affecting the normal way of how you take a breath.

GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease)

GORD is a condition where stomach acid affects gullet, lower part of esophagus. This digestive problem often causes acid indigestion and heartburn. It may also lead to excessive sweating at night, though this is not a common symptom of the disease.

Neurologic conditions

Increased sweating at night may also be caused by some neurologic problems. These include autonomic neuropathy, stroke, posttraumatic syringomyelia, and autonomic dysreflexia.

Abusing alcohol

Too much drinking can trigger excessive sweating at night, too – particularly true if it is followed by drug misuse.

Certain medications

Taking particular medications can lead to some side effects, including night sweats. Some of these are antidepressants, aspirin, and acetaminophen.

Does lung cancer cause night sweats? If so why and how?

Generally, the common early symptoms of lung cancer include; shortness of breath, cough most of the time (difficult to improve), and discomforts in chest (such as ache /pain in the chest). But the disease rarely causes early signs. Many times, the symptoms occur when the disease at advanced.

How about night sweats? Although it is quite rare, lung cancer can cause this symptom for several reasons. The following are some of these reasons!


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