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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have hypochondria. Started cough and noticed blood in saliva. What is causing this?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I am a natural hypochondriac, and as such every little issue is life or death to me at times. For whatever reason, I’ve stated making myself cough very harshly recently without any natural provocation to cough or evacuate my lungs. I can force myself to cough (again, there is NO natural urge to cough) and at times it appears there is the smallest amount of blood in CLEAR saliva. Again, I am FORCING myself to cough, there is no urge. Alas, I’ve noticed very tiny streaks of blood in my clear saliva after forcing myself to cough. Additionally, I can also force blood out of my nostrils at or around the same time as the tiny spots of blood in my saliva. I have no “true” cough, no shortness of breath, or any of the other traditional symptoms of lung cancer, just an incredible urge to cough and exacerbate the symptoms for my own fears. I’m wondering if it should be a real eye opener (if I stand coughing as hard as I can) if I can draw blood from coughing? Naturally I'm worried about ALL things cancer.
Fri, 21 Dec 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Repeated forceful coughing can cause a mild blood streaks to come along with saliva. This can happen due to dryness of mucosa or the chronic irritation and damage caused by pressure coughing. There is no real pathology involved and in the absence of any generalized symptoms like breathing problems, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, etc is not likely to be associated with cancer.
Keeping your throat moist with lozenges will decrease the dryness and irritation. You can also do warm saline gargles for relief.
In case the symptoms are persistent then a physician evaluation is recommended.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have hypochondria. Started cough and noticed blood in saliva. What is causing this? 7 hours later
Thanks you confirmed what I had thought. The one lingering question I had for my own benefit was whether or not blood/fluid in the lungs caused by cancer would TRIGGER a cough. I.e. those with lung cancner cough because whatever is in the chest triggers it.
One more question for my own curiosity before I close this out. Would blood produced by lung cancer be constant? i.e. if I can produce it one day, it would be there another? that is to say I wouldn't see it once, and then not see it again, is that right?

THanks again for your timely response.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 11 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
Cancer of the lung is not always associated with blood during cough. In case you produce it once due to cancer, the bleeding is likely to be recurrent and progressively increasing in amount.
The cough you are having is not likely to be due to a serious cause like cancer. Please do not worry.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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