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Coughing & Heaviness in Chest

Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2008

I had an upper left Lobectomy May 30th. Prior to the surgery I had a cough and tightness in my chest which I still have. I have been given advair and prevacid ( for acid reflux) and have just finished a round of prednisone. My Doctor believes this condition could be related to my asthma or bronchial ( I was diagnosed with Bronchial aveliar carcinoma). I believe the cough is breathing related, I talk I cough. But the constant heaviness in the chest concerns me. It's not acid reflux. Expect for this stupid lung cancer I'm in very good health, no other medical conditions...My voice gets very raspy and if I talk alot by the end of the day I loose it. Any suggegtions or help?

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

If I talk, I cough too. There seems to be a lot of mucus, but I can't tell if it is coming down from the sinuses or up from my lungs. I have adenoma carcinoma with BAC tendencies. I have heard that means they will have to keep a close eye on both my lungs and mucus production can be a result of more you know what. But the CAT scans show no change since surgery almost 2 years ago and the amount of coughing hasn't changed either, so the doctors aren't worried. They tell me I probably have allergies. It is possible. I hated what sudefed did to my head even though it sort of worked. My mom suggested taking one vitamin C for its antihistimine effects. If I take it in the morning, I dry up somewhat and cough less. Exercise (somewhat vigorous) seems to clear the sinuses too. Two cups of coffee seemed to do a better job of making it easy to cough compared to two cups of tea for about 15 minutes and then I'm okay for most of the day if I don't talk too blasted much (hard for me once I have even 1 cup of coffee!!!). It must be a combination of the caffine and the hot liquid, because decaf doesn't work near as well. So every day I exercise 1 hour at the gym, drink two cups of coffee, and take my vitamin C with breakfast. I'm off the sinus meds and no longer looking at sinus surgery. Coughing was harder to do for a few months after surgery and it was more of a problem then. I kept a travel mug of water close by always then and still try to drink extra. I swear the soft part of my throat is more swollen and more easily irritated than it used to be, but maybe that is my imagination or maybe it is the result of long term irritation. I don't know whether any of my coping methods will work for you, but that's what works best for me so far. They have not put me on advair (yet) nor have they recommended allergy testing. I've asked about both. If you are having lots of mucus and coughing, it is certainly worth checking out if you have allergies. Just because we had cancer doesn't mean we can't have other problems. In fact, other problems tend to go along with lung cancer. A bummer, I know. As for the heaviness, your muscles are working much harder right now to get used to less lung. It will take time for them to get as much oxygen with each breath. Doing your breathing exercises with that funky little device they had in the hospital will strengthen your lung power, though you will probably cough at first when you take big breaths. The doctor could check out your heart if he thinks that is causing the heaviness, just to be sure that your ticker isn't causing any problems. Also, my sister the doc told me that the empty spots in my chest were filling up with fluid to take the space my lung lobe used to occupy. They take stuff out and I gain weight without enjoying any feast! Life is definately not fair! But it is still good, problems and all.

laurieg's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jun 2008


You are such a kind person, I have only been on a few days and I see you answer almost everyones questions. I feel like you over see the discussions and with all good advice. Thank you for sharing your time.

trudy o
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2008

I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in early July and have since undergone R lobectomy. I have a cough. Sometimes it is productive and sometimes just dry and hacking. Like you I don't know if this is normal or not. I also get this feeling in my chest as if i swallowed a pill that is stuck in my chest, It comes and goes and sometimes lasts for days. Again I don't know if this is normal. My primary MD has put me on prevacid. I am waitin to see if it works, Hang in there.

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2008

My mother was diagnosed with BAC type of cancer back in June and she coughs all the time. Her doctors said that this type of cancer causes a lot of mucus and cough. We haven't found anything to really help. I am going to tell her to take Vit C. and see if that helps. Her ough seems to be worse later in the day and like you when she talks she coughs. Are you currently being treated for BAC, if so chemo, tarceva?

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I have non small cell lung cancer, adenoma with BAC tendencies. The doctor tells me that the films are now clear, but I still have a lot of coughing. I try one vitamin C in the morning. It helps, but not all that much. However, regular coffee (not decaf) seems to give me about three hours of relief. I am worried that a cup of coffee every three hours may cause my blood pressure to go up some, but it is worth it. I plan to go to the pulmonologist next month to see if he has any tricks in his bag that would work better. Let me know if you find anything that is helpful. Thanks!

C. Abbott

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