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Persistent cough. X-ray and breathing test good. Taking Omeprazole for heartburn. Esophageal cancer possible?

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I am a 33 year old man and have always been healthly with no issues. I am 5'9", 185 lbs. I have had a persistent cough since late March. I have been in/out of the doctors at least 4 times. I have had my lungs under x-ray and they look good. I have a breathing test which was good. I have taken antibiotics and they didn't work. I am now taking "Omeprazole" which is for heartburn / acid reflux. I do not have any heartburn issues or reflux problems that I am aware of, just this cough. I can feel cough everytime if that makes any sense. Can anyone help? I am no means a doctor, but I am starting to wonder if esophogeal cancer is a possiblity? Please help.
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your concern, as the duration of cough is long and it is quite annoying also.
There are various reason for dry cough for long time. Some of the common ones are:

1. Tuberculosis-most common.
2. Allergic bronchitis.
3. Asthma or related problem.
4. Acid peptic disease.

Since your X-ray and lung functions are normal, tuberculosis and asthma are ruled out. You have been given Omeprazole as the treating physician is suspecting increased acidity as the possible cause.

It does not indicate an oesophageal cancer in any way.

Absolute eosinophil counts will help in diagnosis of an allergic disorder.

You can also undergo allergic testing for common allergens, which can be done via blood test. This kind of tests check sensitivity to various common allergens which could be responsible. If the allergen is found out, the things become easier to treat.

Please avoid strong smell, smoke, perfume, pets etc, which are common agents which can lead to this kind of cough. Wash the pillows covers and bed sheet frequently. This will definitely help.

You can also use a steroid spray to decrease the irritation in the throat which might be causing the cough.

In the mean time, please continue the omeprazole tablets as already prescribed.

Definitely I would reassure you saying that there is no major health concern with you. Do not worry. You should be fine soon.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.

Wishing you good health.
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