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Having chest pain and cough, ex smoker. Had chest X-ray with no abnormalities. Suggest?

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Radiologist, Nuclear Medicine
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 103 Questions
I have been having chest pain and cough over the last 4 months. It is in the center of my chest and does not get worse with exercise. I had chest xray 3 months ago no abnormalities and again 2 days ago with no abnormalities. Is this sufficient imaging to rule out lancer? I am age 29 5 pack year ex smoker as of 1 year ago
Posted Wed, 9 Oct 2013 in Lung Cancer
Answered by Dr. Manoranjan Chowhan 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
CT chest

Detailed Answer:
After knowing your past history of smoking it is nice to know you have quit smoking (you are ex-smoker)
Now as regards your concern regarding if XRAY which is normal can rule out cancer or not, specially lung cancer, it is not the best test as far as the latter is concerned. If you need to be certain, a CT scan of Chest will be better test.

But as 2 of your subsequent tests (XRY) are normal (with last XRY done recently), I don't feel a test is necessary immediately. However, if you remain worried still you may get CT of chest done after 3 months.

Of course the cough that you experience may be due to other causes (though it is difficult to rule out Lung Cancer alone based only on symptoms).

Any way a followup CT and examination by a chest physician will keep you relaxed and worry free.

with best wishes
Dr Chowhan
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