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33 yr old, smoker for 10 yrs. Experiencing peripheral neuropathy in leg and foot. Advice about lung cancer ?

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I am very concerned about lung cancer due to a family history of my Grandmother and first cousin dying at the age of 39 from it. I am now 33 and was a smoker from about 18 to 28. I also am HIV positive. I also think I am experiencing peripheral neuropathy in my left leg and food. I am wanting to start doing CT scans every few years, but have been recommended not to do this. Do you have any advice?
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Let me start by saying that I really do not think there will be any utility in performing lung CT scans for you at this time.

The fact that you smoked does place you at risk but this risk continues to decline with each year that you do not smoke. Also, CT scans do involve radiation exposure to the body and for you getting scans every 3 years would add up to 20 or more scans which could have harmful effects on you.

Regarding the neuropathy this could be related to the HIV or possibly to the medications you are taking and do not indicate any kind of cancer.

It is important that you continue to support your immune system and maintain good followup with your infectious disease specialist to keep the viral load as low as possible.

Again, I dont think there is any real benefit of performing these scans for you. I would continue a good healthy lifestyle, good diet and exercise regimen and try not to focus on this issue of lung cancer for the time being.

Thanks again for the query. I hope you found my response to be helpful. If you have any additional concerns please let me know.


Dr. Galamaga

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