Symptoms of lung cancer : I have had a... - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

4,698 members2,806 posts

Symptoms of lung cancer

Lucylue8 profile image

I have had a nigaly cough for 18month on and off. In January I was taken to hospital unable to breath. After all test I was told my chest and lungs were clear. 2 days later I was back at the doctors My cough was barking and my phelan was green.

My doctor put me on 2 inhalers blue and brown antibiotics steroids. I asked why all my test were clear it has come back. He told me it is a very rear condition it could be asthma copd pneumonia or lung infection or all of them.

Can anyone tell me what are the symptoms of cancer as this 8s the only thing he didn't mention.

11 Replies

This is from the American Lung Association.

What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

Many people with lung cancer don't have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Because there are very few nerve endings in the lungs, a tumor could grow without causing pain or discomfort. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include:

A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time


Constant chest pain

Shortness of breath or wheezing

Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia

Coughing up blood

Some symptoms of lung cancer may not seem related to the lungs or breathing. These symptoms can still be a sign of lung cancer because lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its earlier stages. This means some symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Some of these symptoms may include:

Weight loss

Loss of appetite


Bone pain or fractures

Blood clots


Was one of your tests a chest CT? If yes I would continue with their testing. If not, insist on a CT because Xrays miss many cancers.

BellaBe profile image
BellaBe in reply to Denzie

I agree, you definitely need a chest CT scan with contrast. My returning cancer was missed on an X-ray. They are not detailed enough to show smaller tumours. Though if you had a bad chest infection I’d have thought that would have shown something. Definitely chase a CT, hopefully that will put your mind at rest. Good luck. Bella.

Sounds like same symtoms and treatment my sister had. Ask for a scan. Her Xray showed no probs - her scan showed cancer. Good luck

I strongly agree with everyone here, a chest cat scan with contrast is indicated if it was not done already. It gives a much better picture of what is going on than a chest xray. Hope you get answers and relief soon.

If you are in the UK, it is unlikely you would have CT whilst you're coughing and harbouring infection as this can affect results either way - false positive or false negative. The first UK test is a chest x-ray and if something suspicious, a CT would be next. The symptoms you describe are typical of chest infections, pneumonia and other conditions. I had lung cancer (7cm tumour removed with half my left lung in Dec 2010) and frequently have the symptoms you describe. I am still under the hospital and various checks are done (given my cancer history that makes it more likely it might be linked) but so far despite several hospitalisations these have turned out to be pneumonia, pseudomonas (healthcare acquired infection resistant to antibiotics) and most recently isolated for RSV (virus). Tests including blood tests can determine whether your body is fighting infection, reacting to an allergic trigger and sputum tests can confirm other aspects. Bronchoscopy may be done (a camera into the lungs) to see if other aspects appear suspicious. If your chest infection isn't clearing up, do return to your GP and insist on a chest x-ray. I believe I'm alive today because one was done when I turned up in A&E 2 months before hand - and even then, it was believed to be 'uncontrolled asthma' and asthma medications were given (but I didn't respond to them) and subsequent tests showed it to be much more sinister. Phlegm being green suggests infection which will usually respond once an appropriate antibiotic has been used. These things take time to clear up anyway - not a few days or even 2 weeks but if it's 18 months, that's either reinfection (i.e. infection now clearing up before you contract a similar thing) or asthma or COPD. The latter are long term conditions and various reliever treatments available. Ask to see a respiratory consultant if you continue to be dissatisfied with your GP. Lung cancer has many symptoms - some appear initially to have nothing to do with the lungs - a dear friend only experienced extreme shoulder/back pain. My cough was sudden - only days before I could not breathe, swallow, had swelling in the neck and other symptoms. Hope you get sorted soon. good luck.

Lucylue8 profile image
Lucylue8 in reply to JanetteR57

Thank you so much I think I just needed some one to tell me what it could be.

I have just finished all the meds they gave me and even though I do feel much better I can't get rid of the horrible cough. Everyone looks because it sounds awful

But the good thing is I feel much better talking to people that know How I feel.I have lost 4 Brothers my sister a niece and three very close friends in the last 10yrs all with Cancer so it is always there at the back of my mind.I am a half full person so that and your comments keep me going

I am so glad I found this site.

Hope you can get it sorted soon. My symptom was an ache in my lower shoulder.

Lucylue8 profile image
Lucylue8 in reply to Anniecat

Thank you I do get pain in my back both sides but not often.

Thank you for your reply.

RoyCastleHelpline profile image

Dear Luclylue8

There have been some good responses and JeanetteR57 has given sound advice, of which there is not much more to add. However if you wish to discuss anything you can call us on our Freephone nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200.

This link takes you to our website for the symptoms to be aware of for lung cancer:

The British lung foundation is a useful website :

They provide information on both asthma and COPD, their helpline number is 03000 030 555

Hope you fell better soon. Kind regards

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation


Lucylue8, my wife was diagnosed in Feb19, and her symptoms were shortness of breath, constant cough with nothing coming up, and the alarm was coughing up blood. She was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung cancer. She also had a pain in her back at the top of her lung. The gp missed this several times but the A/E dept done an xray and found a shadow. A C.T scan confirmed a tumor but it is sadly advanced around her heart. She is now having chemo but its a HARD fight. Stop worrying and get on with your life. Its way too short to drive yourself to despair with worry!

You may also like...