Coughing up blood

Windmill Member Posts: 23 Member
edited January 3 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

I had bot cancer stage 3 treated with radiation in December 2021. I suffer from a lot of phlegm and I usually clear this by vigorously coughing or clearing my throat. Most mornings I suffer from a coughing fit and today I coughed up some blood. I can feel that where my cancer was is now a little sore, this area is also where I had or still have some necrosis.

I was wondering if anyone else have had this occur and could it be a late affect from the treatment. My oncologist is on leave until the end of the month. Any info is appreciated.


  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,973 Member
    edited January 3 #2

    Hello Windmill. I personally have not had the type of situation you describe. I sometimes get coughing fits but I would attribute it to a small amount of phlegm in my throat that needs to be cleared and when it's cleared I'm OK. I also get to coughing occasionally I think from dryness and I sip water for that. Is this the first time you were bleeding from your coughing or has it been happening for a while? I am just wondering did you always have a lot of phlegm or is it just since your cancer treatment? This could be an after-effect of your radiation, it could be nerves that are giving you this sensation of soreness or it could be the radiated tissue doing it. Radiation is hard on you for sure.

    My opinion would be that this is probably nothing to worry about and it is very possible your strenuous coughing is what caused some bleeding but I wouldn't wait for your oncologist to get back, especially if you have been bleeding regularly. I would get to your ENT which is usually your front-line guy to monitor you anyway after cancer treatment and Have him address this to just be sure everything's OK. As a treated cancer patient I like to be proactive when I get pain or soreness in the H&N area I give it a few short days and if it is not clear by then I go to my ENT. He can check you out and if anything is suspicious he can order a CT Scan with Contrast. This will reveal if anything going on is cancer. We would certainly hope not but if it would be for some reason you want to catch it when it is as small as possible. You may want to request a CT scan anyway. When was your last follow-up scan and are you getting them regularly? I have follow-up CT scans of the H&N area and a chest CT once a year. The chest because if H&N squamous cell manages to travel the next place it goes is to the lungs. I have had cancer 3 times so I know it happens but it is something we don't like to think of or talk about. That's my 2 cents don't take any chances if there is anything you are uncomfortable with. Also for your excess mucous, you may want to start using Mucinex to cut down on it and avoid coughing fits maybe. And while you are at the ENT's office ask him about your excess mucous.

    Take Care God Bless-Russ

  • Windmill
    Windmill Member Posts: 23 Member

    Thanks Russ, this is the first time it’s happened. I am due to see the ENT guys on the 24th. I managed to talk to my oncologist’s registrar this morning. He said if it happens again make an appointment to see my GP or try to get in early with ENT but without knowing my history he didn’t seem that concerned.

    I’m due for a pet scan at the end of March. I have them every 6 months since they found and treated ( SABR ) a met in my right lung in December 2021. Three months ago after the last pet/ct scan my oncologist said i was in remission .

    Ive had phlegm since my treatment for the throat cancer in December 2020. I think I’ll wait until I see the ENT guys on the 24th. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks again