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The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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I am relatively new to this community, and I have a couple of questions, I have a doctors appointment later this afternoon. I should mention i am almost 20 years old.

For just over three weeks now I have had this cough that has been getting progressively worse I am at the point where I cannot breath when I am coughing, and I am gasping for breath when I do so. I cough up very thick mucus that is also making it hard for me to breath. When I'm coughing, I get sharp pains in my chest and back which are very uncomfortable.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been exhausted as well. As I usually go to bed around midnight and wake up at 8 am I have been becoming tired at 7/8pm and having to go to sleep at that time. This has become very unusual as I have never become tired early in the afternoon.

My nan passed away from Lung Cancer in 2013 due to smoking. However, I do not smoke due to my nan passing I do not agree with it. Therefore I am not sure how I would get lung cancer (i am not saying) However, I have been showing symptoms of lung cancer and so I have grown suspicious that this could be the case.

5 Replies

Dear Mellisa97,

Thank you for contacting the Helpline.

I am sorry you have not been feeling well recently.It is good that you have made an appointment to speak to your GP this afternoon.He will no doubt examine you,It could be that you have a chest infection and he may give you some medication for that which may help to cough up the mucous.He will arrange for a chest x ray if he thinks this is necessary.Please let us know how things are after your appointment.

Kind regards,

All the team at the Roy Castle Helpline

1 like

Lord give Mellisa peace❤️ One step at a time , pls get back to us, glad you are taking steps to find out whats going on.


Hi Melissa, please dont worry too much, You may be just suffering with a very bad chest infection ,or pneumonia. It isnt forced to be cancer. Wait until you have seen your doctor.

Wishing you all the best. :) xxx


Make sure you demand a chest x ray! I don't care what anyone says. My J complained for a year he was unwell, breathless and they put this down to asthma and a chest infection. Make sure you are persistant and if it carrys on you keep going back until someone listens. I care about all of you. Take care xx


Sorry to hear about your illness and your fears given your nan's experience. I am a never smoker yet like many other lung cancer patients developed the condition. I was shocked when told 6 years ago that I had it yet have met and communicated many who didn't so the stigma/misinformation out there needs changing. Everyone irrespective of smoking status (previous or current) can develop lung cancer. Not all smokers develop it and many non smokers do too (some studies showing up to 30% patients have never smoked) but…. it doesn't tend to strike the very young - although a few exceptions publicised in Inspire have featured those so it is important to get it checked out. Some recent television campaigns will have linked the symptoms of getting out of breath and persistent worsening cough as symptoms of lung conditions including cancer but whatever it is, it's important to get it checked out and get appropriate treatment so that your lungs don't get damaged. When we're ill, tiredness is often a symptom especially if cough keeps us awake at night and disturbs our 'natural' sleeping pattern and is also the body's way of fighting illness and repairing itself. hope you're feeling a bit better now….


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