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Mild persistent cough

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

I am 18 months out of treatment for Squamous base of tongue. For the last couple months I have had a little annoying cough that just feels like a little tickle in my throat. Not a wet cough. I had a cold/flu that was pretty bad and seemed to start it off though it may have been completly unrelated. I always look for simple explainations first.

Anyway, anyone else have a mild cough? Anyone find out it was something more serious? I do have a PET scan coming up so that is good. But I am starting to get pretty worried about this cough.

Seems worry just goes with this thing!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

As you state, worrying comes with the territory, but it is similar to the old saying that "it ain't paranoia if they're really after you".

Regrettably, I have some experience in this area, as I complained of a persistent -- but mild -- cough when I visited my family doc about a year and a half after my surgery and treatment. I had been receiving the customary three-month scans without any alarms raised, but when I offered that I should not be coughing since I hadn't smoked in all of that time either, my doc scheduled an out-of-sequence scan.
Ultimately, I had a lobectomy in January of 2008. It was still small enough that they could not determine whether this cancer in the lung was new growth or metastasis, but they bet on new (else they would not have done the lobectomy). It was large enough, though, to be positively identified as more SCC.

I do not mean to alarm you (I am now NED, by the way, No Evidence of Disease). This is simply meant to advise that when you have concerns, take them to your doctors and require assurances, either through trusted explanations or tests such as scans, that nothing is growing where it is not supposed to be growing. Since you have a PET scan scheduled for the near future, perhaps they can extend its scope if it is not currently designed for examination of your lungs.

I wish you the best.

Take care,

Joe

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

I am about 5 years out of treatment and still have a little nagging dry cough at night; I am not sure as to why believe it mostly to be caused by the dryness. If it worries you call your ENT and let him take a look, also try some Moisturizing sprays at night and see if it helps. The two I use are biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray that you can get at Walgreens and Stoppers 4 that I get on line at www.drugstore.com

All the best to you my friend

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

Well I certainly hope mine is the "dryness" and not the 2nd primary! My last scan was last July. I was scheduled for a scan in June but asked the doctor to move it up to this week because of my concerns. He doesnt seem worried but cant explain the cough since everything looks good otherwise. The doctors always spend a fair amount of time looking down my throat and feeling all over me.

Thanks guys for your input.

Anyone else have squamous go to lung after treatment?

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

Joe offers very good advice and insight.... I also recommend as you have stated, have your ENT thoroughly scope your throat and areas of concern, he is one of your most important professionals.

Good Luck & God Bless
John

ballonk's picture
ballonk
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi JGE: I had a nagging cough for 4 years following the end of my radiation treatments. I complained about it but my doctors could find nothing wrong. My RO said he thought it was sinus trouble.

After 4 years, I had to find a new internist because my old one had moved. I mentioned it to the new internist and she reviewed the meds I was taking. As soon as she saw the blood pressure med I was taking, she said that she thought that was the culprit. I was taking "Enalapril" - an ACE-inhibitor and she switched me to "Norvasc" - a calcium channel blocker. She said a cough is a common side affect of ACE-inhibitors. Once I switched, the cough went away. And my quality of life greatly improved because I was able to sleep better at night.

I do have a mild cough when I wake up in the morning but it clears up after I have my coffee. After my chest xray last year my RO said the xray was clear except for a small amount of scar tissue from the effects of the radiation.

I'm glad you'll have another PET soon and I pray you'll get relief from your cough soon.

Kathy

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

Thank you everyone for your comments. PET scan came back all clear from head to thighs! No trace of uptake or cancer in my body as of now. 1 1/2 years from treatment and going for 40 more years!!

All you newbies... do what your doctor says and in less than 6 months you will be moving on with your life. Of course there are exceptions and there are adjustments but the changes are tolerable and manageable and you WILL get to be yourself again!!!

Whatever you do, never lose HOPE!!

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

JGE,

Woo Hoo! Excellent news - glad the wait is over.

Was feeling bad when I got in today, laid down for 1/2 hour, got up feeling no better, and now cold, and was greeted with gossip about hypochondriac relative. Logged in to CSN, and a few minutes later, I'm reading "PET scan came back all clear.". Thank you for sharing your good news - I needed it. Keep it up.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad to hear you have a clean report, don’t worry just be happy

You are so right never lose hope.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8104
Joined: Sep 2009

Glad to hear your news was good.... I have a PET scheduled for August.

Like Joe said, it seems everything becomes a concern once you have been on this horse. Little aches and pains in my mouth, throat and chest that once I'd never think twice about, letting them go away on their own, is now always a concern.

It's good to be proactive and like I said, now I'm very aware of any little aches and pains out of the norm.

Continued Good Scans for you and all of us,
John

thegirlfriend's picture
thegirlfriend
Posts: 147
Joined: Sep 2009

Happy Day!! all clear for you!!

JGE
Posts: 50
Joined: Mar 2009

That is why I posted my follow-up. Sometimes on the blogs you dont get to hear any updates on people. We come on here when we have issues or concerns but then if they are resolved favorably we don't get to hear that. I personally LOVE and NEED to hear peoples good news sometimes.

Probably won't be scanned again for at least a year so I am going to try and get as much mileage as possible out of this scan before the doubt and worry starts to set back in.

I hope the same results for everyone!!!

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