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Brown coloured phlegm and coughing - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2585 Questions
User :   Hi i have quit smoking 10 days ago. Is it normal to be coughing up brown coloured phlegm?
Doctor :   Hi,
Doctor :   Dr
Doctor :   Do you think its altered blood in the sputum ?
User :   no i don't think so
Doctor :   Where you getting the same phlegm during the days of smoking ?
User :   no
Doctor :   ok, do you have cough or sore throat ?
User :   no
Doctor :   its least expected for a brown sputum in smoking
User :   what do you mean?
Doctor :   i would advice you to get a microscopy test on the sputum , which could be conclusive
Doctor :   i mean , it could be a dark tarry sputum if its due to smoking
User :   i guess it is dark.
Doctor :   like one mixed with dark ashes
User :   is it my lungs clearing out all the crap?
Doctor :   yes, that can be seen after quitting smoking
Doctor :   due to excess production of the sputum and wash out of the carbon ash
User :   im too embarred to talk to my GP about it
Doctor :   do not worry , its common and you need a microscopy test on it
Doctor :   he will help you in getting it done
User :   how long will that test take?
Doctor :   one day
Doctor :   may be hours in good labs
User :   what will the test tell me?
Doctor :   whether its a carbon ash , infection or blood
User :   what if its blood?
Doctor :   then you may have to be evaluated in detail either with a xray or chest scan
Doctor :   Are you there ?
User :   yes
Doctor :   Please proceed
User :   i really can't take the stress
Doctor :   do not worry , as i sad it could be a carbon ash too , which is beneficial
Doctor :   get the test done and the clear the doubt
User :   what do i have to do for the test?
Doctor :   Ask your GP for the same , an early morning sputum sample would be good for testing
User :   ok. it wouldn't be lung cancer would it? i have no other symptoms
Doctor :   less likely
Doctor :   as lung cancer would present with severe weight loss , appetite loss, cough , visible blood in the sputum and recurrent fever etc
User :   ok. wished id never smoked.
Doctor :   You have quit now, thats very good
Doctor :   just continue not smoking with the same interest and motivation
User :   just feel so stressed all the time
Doctor :   do not worry ,
Doctor :   get off the stress by getting yourself tested and ruled out for cancer
Doctor :   do not delay ,as stress can hurt you more than the problem you actually have
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