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Lung cancer symptoms? And how to get doc to take seriously?


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I'm a lad in my late 30s.

Until a few years ago I'd been smoking 10-20 a day since my early 20s. Just under 3 years ago, I went to the doc with a pain in the left side of my chest, a kind of low throb and sometimes a sharper stab in my lung area. He told me it was some kind of chest wall pain syndrome (can't remember the name) and told me it could come and go and I guess it did but I never really thought about it. Especially as I insisted at the time on a chest x-ray, which he didn't wand to do and more or less laughed at me when I insisted... but anyways I did it straight away, went back to the doc as a follow up, and he told me it was all clear.

Last few months the pain's been back and much worse than before, feels like it's now spread to both lungs though still worse on my left side, where it's also sharper and more persistent. I also have a mildly sore throat and mild pain in my bottom left jaw or teeth area that comes and goes. I don't have any persistent cough but do seem to clear my throat a hell of a lot.

Well the fact that I'm posting here tells you what I make of this, but what do you reckon? And if you agree with me, what can I do to get the doc to take me seriously this time? All thoughts and advice appreciated.


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Thanks for the post and for your kind thoughts, which are much appreciated!

I am now going to arrange for an appointment with the doc this week and go from there.

So, for a range of reasons, it sounds like I should basically *insist* on a CT scan this time then, is that something it's possible you can do...??

The reason I'm concerned about cancer is not just the smoking history but the fact that the problem has spread to both sides of the lungs and the pain (which wasn't always that noticeable) is now much worse and more noticeable. So it's *very* good to hear it could be something else but I don't wanto get my hopes up I have to admit.

Anyways thanks again for that, I will keep you posted and I look forward to comments from others in the meantime:)


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Congrats on being proactive. I hope it is something else. I'm guessing three years ago, they suggested Costochondritis? As you will see if you read here a while, very few lung cancer diagnoses occur with symptoms such as you are experiencing. But I would want to know what is causing the discomfort.

Mine was found in the ER, by chest x-ray and then CTScan - when I was experiencing sharp chest pain (that was probably a muscle spasm.) Depending on your insurance, that might be a way to get a work-up - my copay was $100 or so - maybe less than if I had to pay lab fees like I do now! But if ER visits aren't covered, steer clear!

As you describe yourself as "a lad" - would you by chance be in England or Scotland? Or am I so unhip that I don't know that lad has become common in today's slang? Your health plan would be much different.

Do you still smoke? Get exercise and rest? Tried a heating pad and anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen.) I'm no doctor, but those things can provide some relief.

Please let us know how it goes.

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Hey Ben,

Dont' want you to be hyper paranoid. But when I insisted on a CT scan because of my family history my doctor said NO. But I printed a Google list of lung cancer symptoms and told him to pick one. He did and as a result of that my lung cancer was found very early.

Last result? The CT scan is about $250. It's worth the money to have it to make sure its not something more serious.

I hope it all is nothing serious. But persue it It could save your life!

Judy in MI

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would check your insurance, and if possible go to emergency. They usually really take care of you and will most likely with your symptoms they would most likely give you a CT.

Just my opinion...

Just to put your mind at some ease it could be so many other things. So many people have passed through this site for a very short time as they found out it was not LC. Hopefully, that will be the same for you.


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