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Had smoked and now coughing white mucos with green blob. Suggest?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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I'm a 20 year old who's smoked for 5 years. I am now coughing up white mucus with a little green blob in it. Sometimes tiny bits of food are also in the phlegm. Is it ok and also is lung cancer common in a 20 year old?
Posted Mon, 26 Aug 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 37 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

If you do not have any other symptoms like fever, cold etc associated with your coughing for now - you may not need urgent medical help for now. But, only a sputum test will confirm the presence of bacteria, if it is then your doctor will prescribe you drugs including a corresponding antibiotic.

You might be experiencing smoker's cough, and the white & green colors in the sputum are due to the end products of the cells that protect your lung airways to begin with as your smoking habit would have caused the damage to the linings. Food particles may be due to excessive irritation of airways and the slight regurgitation of ingested food along with your cough.

Lung cancer can happen at any age including children, but mostly is seen in middle aged adults and elderly.

I would suggest you to get a doctor's consultation now to be sure you are fully fine and also get help to quit smoking at the earliest - as symptoms like these would reduce and you also would reduce your risk for having lung cancer at later stage as 5 years of smoking history is of considerable importance.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet, MBBS, MD.
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had smoked and now coughing white mucos with green blob. Suggest? 6 minutes later
Further i have lost 3kg in the past 6 weeks, is this call for concern or relatively normal? Thank you
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 21 minutes later
Thanks for your reply.

Weight loss is a nonspecific symptom of many cancers including lung cancer. But, it does not imply the presence of it directly. It could also be due to loss of appetite which is common in smokers or some other valid reason in you.

Lung cancer is detected only with wholesome clinical exam coupled with related tests.

But, your weight loss should be addressed as you are relatively young now.

Let me know of any further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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