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I am smoker. Coughing up spit with black spots. Is this a sign of lung cancer or a form of COPD?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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Hello, this is so great to be able to talk to someone right away. I am a 28 yr old female working as an EMT Paramedicine. I have been smoking for about 12 years. I am a little worried, and i tend to over worry, but for a few years I have been coughing up spit with some blck spots, sometimes its gray and rarley its very dark. Is this a sign of lung cancer or a form of COPD? I amso got scared of the black i was seeing and decided to quit smoking a few days ago, but I seem to be caughing this up more often now. is that normal? will my spittle ever return to normal? or is this normal when quitting smoking?
Posted Tue, 14 Aug 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 4 hours later

Thanks for your query.

The black spots in the sputum are typically seen in two most common conditions.

One Smoking , where the tar inside the lung deposited due to long term smoking is sloughed into the sputum giving it a black hue.

Here the chances of cancer cannot be elicited based on the sputum findings but cannot be ruled out either.A High resolution CT scan will me one which helps you to confirm the presence or to rule out the cancerous growth.

The other common condition which presents with black sputum is infection with Fungus named Aspergillous Niger.This is a well treatable condition.The above investigating test along with a sputum microscopy would be able to confirm the diagnosis.

Do visit the Pulmonologist and get the above mentioned tests.Detected in early stages both can be cured to normal.

Hope I answered your query.

Wish you goo health.
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