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My name is Laura and I was wondering about symptoms. My husband is 34 and has been a smoker for about 20 yrs for the last 15 years he has smoked camel non-filtered. He has been complaining about his right upperback hurting him inbetween his shoulder blade and his spine for about the last 4 months or so, in addition he has had a dry cough that he told me is just a nervous cough that he has been doing since he was little. Two weeks ago he decided to try and quit smoking and now is coughing up what he said look like blood in mucus. I am very concerned after reading some of you stories. I want he to get checked but he thinks that his lungs are just cleaning themselves out. Any advise?



email kempelaura@hotmail.com

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Norme is right. Coughing up blood is usually caused by bronchitis, but with his history, and the pain, he should definitely get it checked out. A number of people here have begun their lung cancer "journey" with back, upper chest, or shoulder pain.

Smoking paralyzes the little "hairs" (cilia) that move mucus out of the lungs, so quitting sometimes does aggravate a cough. This, however, does not mean he should ignore it, esp. with the dark blood in it. This is a priority - don't ignore it. Hope it turns out to be nothing more than bronchitis. Good luck.

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The lungs are a pretty complicated organ. The symptoms you describe could be caused by a number of different things, most of them easily treatable.

BUT ... the ONLY way to be sure is to get in an get things checked out. Your husband may be afraid to go in considering all the possibilities (I know *I* was!) but waiting won't do any good at all. Something serious like cancer or enphezema (sp?) is a LOT easier to treat when caught early!

I waited too long. Your husband doesn't have to.


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Hey Laura!!

I agree with all that's been said and I have to echo DeanCarl!!! Your husband may, at least subconsciously, be afraid to go but give him a push from me!

I had pain in my back around my right shoulderblade...not really pain but more like an ache...and a cough. My lung cancer was caught early and I was able to have surgery. The fact that I'm a Stage 1a means that I have an 80% chance of survival. Even though its still terrifying, if I had waited longer...my odds wouldn't be that high.

Chances are your husband is fine. It will only take an xray to prove it! Good luck to both of you....

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My husband also had shoulder pain for a long time. He had not smoked for about 5 years so he didn't have a cough. A few days before he went to the doctor he coughed and spit up a little blood. He was doing some drywall at the time and thought it was from breathing the dust.

The coffee ground stuff is most likely blood. Make him go, it's what you don't know that will hurt you.

And please come back and tell us how it turned out!

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Hi Laura;

Agree with the rest but just wanted to add to tell him to do it for ya as a Christmas gift!! :):) Ya also want to get a ct scan of the chest if at all possible. Simple procedure, takes about 20 minutes and it will tell ya more than an x-ray. Again, better safe than sorry.

Good luck to you

God bless

Bobmc- NSCLC- stageIIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

" absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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I have to agree...sooner is better! I mentioned my symtoms to a good friend and he insisted I go in immediately, so I did because I knew he would never stop insisting. I hated what I learned, but am grateful for the push he gave me...it was the true mark of friendship.

Best of luck with this,


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The smoking history plus the signs & symptoms you have reported are very significant potential indicators AND are definitely worrisome enough to get followed up AT ONCE.

None of us could possibly over-emphasize that TIME IS CRITICAL!!

**If** I had a magic wand, I'd arrange a SPIRAL CT W/CONTRAST (NECK-TO-PELVIS VIEW) for you at 7am tomorrow...but I do not.

Unfortunately, many of us went a longer/more time-consuming route of: weeks on antibiotics for a possible pneumonia w/o improvement, then an x-ray, then a bronchoscopy, then a CT scan, then a needle biopsy...and after TWO MONTHS...finally the diagnosis and treatment.

Please hear us...DO NOT DELAY!! If you don't have a family Doc, get on to the ER tomorrow morning. Be sure to ask the ER Docs to screen him for Lung Cancer, even if they think it's Pneumonia.

If you ask, they'll likely then feel they have to do it, just in case. Ask & ask again...then if necessary, DEMAND he be screened for Lung Cancer before leaving the ER.

Please! May God bless & keep you both.

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