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Had productive cough, developed shortness of breath, get pink mucous. WBC elevated and X-ray was fuzzy. Lung cancer?

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I have had a mostly non productive cough for a month. I have developed shortness of breath with activity and when I did get some mucus up, it was pink. My white blood cells are slightly elevated and my chest xray was "fuzzy". The doctor said he doesn't think it's bronchitis or pneumonia but that's what he's going to treat for and that's where it ended. I am concerned about lung cancer since my grandma just died from it and I've been a smoker for 16 years. Does this sound like I should get a second opinion?
Posted Wed, 29 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

I think its too early for you to start suspecting a lung cancer at this stage. A chest X XXXXXXX which is abnormal and raised white blood cells, somehow justify treatment for an infection. However, a few things must be taken into consideration first.
Have you any family history of asthma?
Is this the first time you are experiencing these symptoms or you have had them before?
Do you have fever, any notion of night sweats of weight loss?

It is very important to an active search to exclude pulmonary Tuberculosis considering the fact you have been coughing for up to a month.
When do you cough most? If this occurs at night, asthma should be an important consideration.

Shortness of breath, especially with effort or exertion should call for exclusion of both heart and respiratory problems, the commonest being heart failure and asthma.

I suggest you book an appointment with a pulmonologist for a proper clinical evaluation. A repeat chest X XXXXXXX for symptoms might have changed, complete blood count and a cardiac ultrasound if necessary, sputum examination and culture for pulmonary TB, Tuberculin Skin tests could be very necessary to distinguish an infection from asthma or cardiac disease.

Thanks and hope this helps. Do not hesitate asking further questions if necessary. Wishing you the best of health.

Best regards,
Dr Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had productive cough, developed shortness of breath, get pink mucous. WBC elevated and X-ray was fuzzy. Lung cancer? 1 hour later
Dr. Luchuo,

Thank you for the response. To answer your questions:

My dad has very bad asthma but when I asked the doctor if I could have it, he said no.

I have had respiratory issues a lot, around every 6 months I get a bronchitis dx. When those past infections have happened, I FELT sick. This time I don't other than the cough, SOB, and pain in my chest.

I cough constantly through the day however it does get a lot worse at night. I will request a referral to a pulmonologist.

Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 4 minutes later
Hi and thanks for writing back.

I strongly feel the pulmonologist would be of great help in putting things in an appropriate perspective.
do not hesitate asking any further questions you might deem necessary.

Thanks and best regards,

Dr Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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