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Am I on the stage of lung cancer ? help!

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

It's a long story but please read through ..

Have been coughing for more than a month now , most of time dry cough , sometimes I have white sputums but sputum don't always come the coughing

The first dr said I was allergy , which makes me more miserable since the coughing got worse after I used his medicine for allergy . I asked for a routine blood test , came out normal .Then I went to hospital ER ,took chest xray , looks okay . ER dr said I had acute bronchitis . prescribed antibiotics and let me go . After I finished the medicine , I don't feel any better or worse ,so I just keep drinking warm water for one week then I had it ... visited the 3nd dr who claim to have 23 yr exp on family practice .. He said I had some infection in the upper respiratory. He then , gave me a nasal spray and avelox a very strong and expensive antibiotics than my insurance wont cover . I have not finished this medicine yet . but I don't know why I still get a Low Grade Fever starting in the afternoon , around 99.1F oral , for several days now .and at the same time , my throat feels like stuffed with something , or dry feeling . This feeling gets more clearly after I drink warm water .. and some weakness and fatigue . Last night I wook up few times , had a little nightsweat ... I always heard that low grade fever and nightsweat may be symptom of Lung cancer ! Took another chest xray on Friday , dr said it's fine and let me do nothing , he even refused to sign me an order for CT scan! I mean if a patient is worrying , you shouldn't just say no ,right?

Now Im just so stressed out . My wife was always more afraid of cold weather than me , but today she wear only tshirt on top and I wear double hoodies and still feel chill ! I'm going to visit another dr and ask for a chest CT scan on Monday . Should I find a specialist ? Can anyone give me some pieces of advices , please ?? I saw someone had lung cancer at my age in this forum . I 'm so frightened ...

I'm 27 yrs old male , never smoke , seldom drink some red wine . no cancer history in family .

Thank you all !

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I would imagine that in the minds of most prudent physicians worrying is not sufficient cause to order a CT scan or any other kind of scan. These scans introduce a tremendous amount of radiation to the body, after all, and can do more harm than good if used injudiciously.

I would normally suggest that if you have worries you should see your doctor, but since you have consulted with three of them already, and since at least twice you have received xrays, I would suggest instead that you heed the advice of the latter two doctors, whose diagnoses and treatment plans sound rather similar to this untrained reader.

As for low-grade fever and nightsweats being symptoms of lung cancer, I can only speak for myself but those two items were not among the things that raised concerns for me and my doctor when a CT scan was ordered.

My advice would be to take your medications AS PRESCRIBED until they are completed. If the conditions persist, I am sure your doctor will pursue other avenues (and I would suggest picking a doctor and sticking with him/her: your current methodology means that both you and the doctor are starting over every time you jump to a new one).

Take care,


Posts: 33
Joined: Dec 2009

You do seem rather young for lung cancer but today cancer is showing up in all ages.Those were two of my symptoms but I actually showed puemonia on an xray and the cat scan showed nothing else.Much to my dismay 14 months later puemonia again and this time the ct scan showed a mass.But I smoked for 38 years and was 52 yrs old and family history loaded with cancer.Before you get over stressed ..take Joes advise and finish your meds..But don't let it go un checked if it continues.Mine could have been caught 14 months earlier if drs would have done some more testing besides CT scan..but I am cancer free and still here so things have still worked out better than i was told in the beginning of my diagnoses... Good luck to you.. Jill

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

If your X-ray is clear, you know it is not some large unknown mass that is making you sick. Anything too small on an x-ray just may not show on a CAT scan either (the limit is about 2 mm), and Joe is right when he says that the CAT scan itself has a lot of radiation that could cause lung cancer in the future. When you have to have one, do it. But if you don't, don't borrow trouble. The fact is, lots of things can cause respiratory problems and not respond immediately to medicine. If they are caused by a bacteria, then antibiotics can help. If they are caused by something else, antibiotics won't help much at all. I would finish the antibiotic according to the directions just in case it handles part of your problem and so that you don't let some bacteria become immune to that drug.

While you are finishing your course of antibiotics, you could see if your town has a good pulmonologist that your primary care doctor recommends. A pulmonologist works with lung problems. If you feel that you have breathing problems, a pulmonologist may be able to help, seeing as they specialize in such problems. As a specialist though, they will not be cheap. DO NOT GET MORE X-RAYS! Give your doctor permission to access what tests have been done. This saves you exposure to more dangerous radiation and saves you money. Even cancer patients only have scans every three months and it sounds like you have been having them lots closer than that. Forget what they say about how safe they are. If you are having them too often, the radiation from one safe xray adds up to the others you just had and just like numbers add up, eventually you get enough to put you in the unsafe range. No need to panic at this point. Just don't keep asking for tests when you don't absolutely need them. You may have bronchitis still and need treatment for the symptoms. It may have gone into chronic bronchitis rather than the acute sort. Relax, it happens. Bronchitis can be the result of something other than a bacteria, so sometimes doctors choose to just treat the symptoms. Treating the symptoms often works and it's cheaper than a zillion unnecessary tests--well, at least unnecssary if all you have is a garden variety case of bronchitis. The doctors tell me to drink lots of water, consider using a vaporizer, take certain decongestants, and other things to reduce symptoms. Some of the lastest nasal sprays and inhalers treat symptoms very well without causing the drugged over-medicated feelings that pills and liquids cause. If they cause side effects you don't like, you need to see your doctor. Sometimes there are other meds that will work as well without those particular side effects. Genetic differences in patients make what works with one person not necessarily ideal with another. So again, it is important to keep seeing the same doctor until they find out what works with you and your problem.

In my locality, the swine flu hit some folks hard and fast and others slow and long. I got the almost three week sort and it took all of that time before I was finally sick enough to spend a few days in bed. I was miserable with a low grade fever almost every evening, cold hands and feet, dry cough, and achy bones. Every morning I started out fine. Sound familiar? When it went into my ears, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic and that helped, but if it was swine flu that drug wouldn't have helped at all. Swine flu is caused by a virus, not a bacteria.

Allergies can be the basis of respiratory woes too. Usually the mucus is clear, sometimes it is absent, but the patient is miserable just the same. Post nasal drips cause throat irritation and coughing, eyes get itchy and red,tissue swell, and sometimes infection starts growing in the yucky stuff. No fun at all! But allergies don't usually cause a fever unless an infection starts up on top of them.

So what do you have? Start with a doctor you trust and keep going back to the same one until he or she figures it out. Doctors are problem solvers and it takes time to eliminate all the possibilities and find out exactly what things are. If you jump from one to another, no doctor will be able to sort things out. Good luck!

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

I'll hold the thought of taking a ct scan . I just went to a pulmonary dr today , he diagosed me to have a bronchitis asthma or something like that , and yes , he refused to order chest ct for me as well . But like you folks said, it might be important to trust a dr and follow his therapy. I'm taking this medicine called advair.hope it will work .

Thanks again! God bless you all.

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2010

Yug, Hope you are feeling better. The symptoms you describe can be the result of so many things besides lung cancer.
Has your dr gotten blood work for you - if not see about getting CBC (complete blood count) Metabolic and LDL. These tests will help eliminate some of the possible culprits.
My husband had low grade fevers and night sweats for several months before they fond out he had lymphoma. I don't want to give you more things to think about, but blood work is much easier on your body than scans.

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