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The Purpose Of The Detecting Lung Cancer Blog

Help create awareness about early detection of Lung Cancer and the effects of smoking and finding lung cancer before symptoms arise by sharing this blog with friends, family and colleagues.

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greg stanley


Over the last few years, I've had numerous discussions with smokers, former smokers, their loved ones and healthcare providers about the risk factors for lung cancer and the benefit of early detection. I hope sharing my knowledge and many of your stories will help make an impact on this deadly disease.

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Lung Cancer Symptoms | Coughing Up Blood or Phlegm


coughing up phlegmSmoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In fact, smokers and ex-smokers can be as much as 45 times more likely to develop lung cancer in the next 5 years than someone their age who has never smoked.

According to our Lung Cancer Risk Assessment, which is based upon a published risk model by M.D. Anderson researchers and clinicians, a 60 year old male who quit smoking 15 years ago is still 28 times more likely to get lung cancer in the next 5 years than someone his age who never smoked. For reasons like this, it is important to be aware of lung cancer symptoms and take advantage of early lung cancer detection methods. If lung cancer is found in its earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate triples.

Below, we have listed the top 10 lung cancer symptoms, which we have expanded on in previous blogs. These symptoms may depend upon the site and extent of involvement with the tumor.

#1 Persistent Cough

#2 Shortness of breath

#3 Productive Cough

#4 Pneumonia

#5 Fluid in the lungs

#6 Chest pain or tightness in the chest

#7 Bone and joint pain

#8 Change in the voice

#9 Wheezing

#10 Other symptoms

In this post, we would like to expand on one of those symptoms: productive cough, also known as coughing up blood or phlegm.

A productive cough is when some type of secretions come up during coughing, which could be in the form of mucus or blood.

When suffering from infection or disorder, the body accumulates phlegm in the throat. Smoking, infection, air pollution or presence of blood gives the phlegm a rusty brown color. Coughing up phlegm with blood is usually due to excessive smoking or high air pollution.

If a productive cough—especially one with blood—occurs in a patient with a history of smoking, lung cancer should be suspected and an appropriate work up is to be done to confirm or exclude this possibility.

Given the poor prognosis for most symptomatically detected lung cancer cases, the need for early detection is critical. It is important to quit smoking, to reduce your lung cancer risk as much as you can, but it is also important to remain informed about the symptoms of lung cancer, as well as early detection methods such as EarlyCDT-Lung.

If you know someone who has or is battling lung cancer, or if you are a lung cancer survivor, we invite you to share that story on our Lung Cancer Awareness Wall. The wall serves as a memorial for all people who have fought the #1 cancer killer. Currently, approximately 900 people have shared stories on our wall - Help us get to 1,000 in 2012!

If you think you or a loved one is at risk for lung cancer, we invite you to try out Free Lung Cancer Risk Assessment or see a complete list of lung cancer risk factors and lung cancer symptoms.

According to the American Cancer Society, early detection is the best chance to increase the lung cancer survival rate. To learn more about early detection, click here.



July 17th will be my 5 yr anniversary of my first lung surgery. I was a lucky one, my NP (nurse practioner) ordered a chest xray after turning 50, stating, "youve never had one". I had no symptoms, healthy, energetic and very active. Turns out I had two different cancers upper and lower right lobes, they removed the upper lobe, and did a wedge on the lower lobe. That was it Back up and moving , all was good, till 3 years later, and it had come back in the lower riight lobe. This time after removal of the lobe, chemo. I made it through the entire treatment, but by the end I had become very weak. My strength is still not what it should be, I am working on it and determined I will get it back. I will never run another marathon, but getting stronger everyday. Again, I had no sympoms...
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 6:39 PM by Sue
I am so glad for this website, even though I found it after my husband passed away of lung cancer in 2010. Unfortunately for him, even though he had been a lifetime smoker, he had none of these symptoms; and even just had a physical, chest x-ray and nothing showed up. 2 months after the x-ray, he went to the Dr. thinking he had a respiratory infection, and they found Stage 3b lung cancer. He died exactly one year later. It was too late for surgery. He still did the chemo, but basically it just bought him some time, but not much quality of life. This is a great website, and I encourage everyone to share it with your friends and family who smoke, and even those who don't. Thank you for all the awareness you bring to this very important disease.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:00 PM by Vicki Arven
I read this article and those two comments and it almost made me cry - just thinking about these hard situations coming up in life. Unfortunately none of us is here forever. I just wanted to say that there sometimes are more explanations to coughing up mucus and plegm than lung cancer. If you have this kind of symptom, I truly hope that it's something else!
Posted @ Monday, September 10, 2012 3:06 AM by Mary
My husband was a nonsmoker, had a bout of flu that he didn't bounce back from, tiredness and productive cough. One other symptom (not listed)was chronic bad breath. This cleared up after chemo Unfortunately he passed away after chemo, radiation and surgery. He also had polycystic kidney disease. Not sure if there are links between the two? His cousin now has lung cancer so I am interested in family link studies. 
Posted @ Saturday, March 02, 2013 3:49 AM by Denise Kelly
I smoked for over forty years, knew the risk my father died of cancer as well as most of his family.I had battled with pneumonia for at least 2 years and took weeks to get rid of. My GP saved my life I had several x-rays but showed nothing, she went one step more and ordered a CT scan. Well low and behold there it was non small carsanoma. I had surgery removing upper right lobe the cancer was inside so no radiation or cemo. I feel great only 2 months after surgery. Early detection is the key. Fight for it for yourself and others.
Posted @ Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:31 PM by Becky
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