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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Diagnosed with weak lungs and GERD. Started coughing. Should I get tested for lung cancer?

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Dr. Robert Galamaga

Oncologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2616 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 14 Feb 2013 in Lung Cancer
Question: Hi. My name is XXXXXXX and am 29 years old girl from Toronto. I got diagnosed with weak lungs as a child and during the past few years i've been coughing on and off a lot and been coughing a lot lately. I got diagnosed with GERD last year (gastreoreflux disease). I'm a non somker but i was a second hand smoker for 13-15 years and also one of my grandmothers and greatgrandmothers passed a way of lung cancer. Should I get tested for lung cancer now? thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 5 hours later
Thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations.

I do not think you're dealing with long cancer. I want to reassure you of this. However, since you're having such a persistent cough a chest x-ray would be reasonable. This would help your physician find out if there is something going on within your lungs that could explain the cough.

There are many different things which can cause a persistent cough. Among these included is Asthma as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease and Allergies as well as postnasal drainage.

Again I think it might be reasonable for a chest x-ray in light of the fact that the cough has been so persistent. If the chest x-ray is negative which I believe it will be then your doctor should investigate other causes of the costs such as those that I listed above.

Thanks again for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional concerns.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 18 hours later
i don't know. I was tested for asthma years ago by a respiratory specialist. i believe that's what they're called. they actually tried to induce the asthma in me with some medications at the hospital but the test result was that i don't have asthma. I was diagnosed with having weak lungs as a toddler by a pediatrician and then again by an allergist/immunologist/pediatrician about 3 weeks ago. the test result was that i have no allergies but i have weak lungs. he said he'll send a note to my family doctor saying that i have weak lungs and that he should keep an eye on the more in case if i develop asthma or another disease of the lungs in the future. but i was tested for asthma years as i said before, they actually tried to induce with medications but the results were that i don't have asthma as i said before. but we have a family history of lung cancer. one of my grandmothers had it so did her mom. anyways i'm seeing my family doctor next week for this chronic cough and shortness of breath. we'll see what happens.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 32 hours later
Thank you for your follow-up.

I am really not sure exactly what the diagnosis of weak lungs means. I have not encountered any cases where this would be a descriptive term. I would prefer if you requested the records from your physician and reviewed those to see exactly what they are referring to. If possible they might think that you may benefit from respiratory therapy or pulmonary rehabilitation. I'm really not sure otherwise what would cause your lungs to be weak.

Again thank you for the update. Please let me know if you have any additional concerns that you would like to discuss.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
well the allergist listened to my lungs before he ran the allergy test (skin test), and told me to blow if it itches but i started blowing automatically (without intention) before i felt any itching and when the test was over he said i have no allergies but i have weak lungs and that i might develop asthma or another disease of the lungs in the future so he said he'll send a note to my family doctor saying that my lungs are weak and that he should keep an eye on them more in case if i develop asthma or another disease of the lungs in the future so it gets diagnosed in it's early stages. i told him that i don't have a family history of asthma or any other lung disease but lung cancer and he told me "then watch out for that". one of my grandmothers and one of my great grandmothers had lung cancer.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 19 hours later
Thanks again for the additional information.

I really don't think that you have any worry about lung cancer at this time. Regarding your current situation with your lung function I would encourage you to really push yourself and continue a good exercise regimen of cardiovascular exercises including running cycling or walking. If you do this this will help to maintain good respiratory function.

Again thank you for sharing your health concerns with me. It has been an absolute pleasure to discuss this with you. I am always available if you have any additional follow-up concerns.

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 40 minutes later
i walk a lot. i walk pretty much everyday with my dog but living in toronto makes it harder for me cause the weather here is cold and walking in cold weather i think weakens my lungs more. what do you suggest i do? i gotta walk anyways cause i have a dog and i've to take him for walks. apparently i'm not allergic to him. the allergist tested me for dogs and the test turned negative. this is my first dog. we bought him about 3 months ago. i don't wanna get rid of my dog. how should i deal with the cold weather here?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
I am glad that you're doing exercise with your dog. I would encourage you to continue to do that. I don't see any reason why you would need to get rid of your dog at this time.

One additional thing you might consider is joining a local gym. This will allow you access to more intense cardiovascular exercise in a controlled environment.

Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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