The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Should I be worried?

I am a 27yr old female with a cough which has lasted nearly a year and is especially bad in the morning. I smoke 20 cigarettes/day. I have had a recent virus/chest infection and feel severely fatigued, two visits to the GP and I was diagnosed with asthma. Inhalers do not work, I asked for chest Xray but was told it was unnecessary as my chest was clear. Should I still be worried?

4 Replies


can't give you any answers and no one could diagnose anything without all the history etc, but I would keep going back to your GP if you are worried. Sometimes you just need to make a nuisance of yourself to get somewhere. Did you tell them the inhalers did not work?

Chest x rays don't always show anything espessially a routine one, it missed my 11cms tumour 3 times as it doesn't show all of the lung!

If you are really worried and can't get anywhere with your GP, ring up your local hospital and ask to be put through to a respiratory/ thorasic medicine consultants secretary and ask to make a 'private' appointment. Its costs around £150 (worth every penny to put your ind at ease if nothing else) but once he/she has seen you anything that they think that needs to be done, xrays, scans etc can be done on the NHS if you tell them that it was only the consultation you wanted privatly. If they do think its something the treatment /investigations are just as quick.

Not meaning to lecture you but have you thought of trying to stop smoking as its really not helping.

Hope that helps

Lyn x


I agree with lynba, you need to keep going back to your GP and ask for a chest x ray, if necessary ask to see a different doctor, write down all your symptoms and what treatment you have had then you will not forget anything, don't worry if you think it trivial, it's important they know exactly how you feel.



Hi Bellajane,

I totally agree with the two previous responses you have received,in my own experience,I had a cough I couldnt shake off,my daughter insisted I should visit my doctor,I declined,saying I am not going to bother my doctor over something as trivial as a silly wee cough,this did not deter my daughter,she made an appointment for me,and off I went.My doctor told me my chest was clear,but that I had a sinus infection,which will clear up with 2 weeks on a anti-biotic,well after taking the pills,the cough persisted, my daughter arranged another appointment for me. Again the doctor said my chest was as clear as a bell,theres nothing wrong with you,however,just to keep your daughter happy,take this card to the local hospital and get your chest X-rayed.I return to the docs later for the results,expecting to be given the all clear.I sit down in the surgery,the doc looks at me and tells me my upper right lung has collasped.Puzzled I ask,what could cause a lung to collapse?.Do you smoke? asks my doctor.Yes I do, I reply,adding ,you dont think this is lung cancer do you?.Its a good possibility she replies.

Subsequent tests did confirm I had a cancerous tumour in my upper right lung.I did receive chemo and a upper right lobectomy to remove the tumour,since I have had no further treatments and now live my life to the full.

You do have a responsibilty to yourself which over rides any doctors put down,you know your own body,you must fight for a full investigation into your persistant cough,you may not have any serious illness at the end of the day,but reassurance of that is important.In the case of being dxd with lung cancer,it is more effectively treated the earlier it is caught,I must stress I am not qualified to make any judgement on your particular post,but I do urge you to return to your GP to have your cough fully investigated.


thanks for all the responses I will get some further medical advice.


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