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Chest xray

Hi all

How likely is it that a chest xray will miss lung cancer? Heard so many stories of this happening lately.... I had a chest xray in Jan 2016 and one Mar 10 2017 both clear but still having coughing symptoms all the time!

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  • longseason kay19801

    Hi, chest x-rays find lung cancer most of the time but a far from great. Most esitmates online are about 50-75% detection. Small tumours can be missed simply because they are small, even larger tumours low in the lung can be hard to see in front of the diaphram, or they can be obscured behind bone or heart. I had a clear chest x-ray a month ago but am having a chest ct scan next week as worrying symptoms persist. 

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    • longseason kay19801

      loss of appetite

      intermittent cough which is sometimes quite bad

      vague non-specific back and rib pain

      you have had a cough for 15 months now so you're probably fine, especially if thats your only symptom

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    • kay19801 longseason

      How long have you had your symptoms?

      I started with a cough last year this time and it went now its back with throat tightness and wheezing, I am going for lung functions tests next week.

      have you had any blood tests so far? I had back pain for weeks on end....

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    • kay19801 longseason

      So strange, I had my bloods done end Dec and they were fine but it was taken for a change in meds, I have re-done them yesterday, hoping they are all ok.....im so anxious as to what the issue is!

      How old are you? I am 36 and a former smoker (stopped 9 weeks ago) was smoking on/off for 18 years, but more on.......hence the nervousness!

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    • longseason kay19801

      well blood tests don't normally show up any cancer redflags unless it's a specific tastse for specific cancers.though  sounds to me like you're cough and wheezing might be consitent with asthma maybe? I'm actually only 26 but was a heavy smoker at university, I too am very worried

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Yup I know its the persistent cough that is making me very anxious! 

      Bloods tests dont but they are a good indication to a GP how your body is functioning ie white blood cells etc.. - l think they will send me for a chest ct scan also.....very scared they find cancer!

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    • longseason kay19801

      I had blood tests today, too. I almost feel like this time they will flag something up, calcium in the blood perhaps. I was due to have a lung function test next month but just going right ahead with a scan now instead. And thank you, If it's not cancer it's something masquerading as cancer.

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    • kay19801 longseason

      What test do they run to check for calcuim in the blood? I think they just look at calcium levels. Have you had a FBC/CBC?

      Sorry I am having the lung function tests next week. I will probably end up going for the chest ct scan too if these tests prove anything worrying. 

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Hi there

      Any further with your tests?

      I had my lung function tests and it was normal, no asthma or COPD - so DR has given me steroid nasal spray.......dont know how much more I can take!

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    • longseason kay19801

      Hi, I couldn't have the CT scan in the end because apparently there was a misunderstanding with my GP and she only meant for to have a CT scan if the blood tests I had around the time of seeing her abormal, which unsurprisngly they didn't. I think it's ridiculous as blood tests aren't likely to flag up anything for lung cancer anyway, gps often tend to be quite ignorant about particularl illnesses, if I'm honest. I had a 2nd x-ray on wednesday though, doubt anything has rang any alarms as have not heard anything since then, but I really don't rate x-ray for lung cancer detection anway. Will probs have to go private for a CT.

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    • longseason kay19801

      it's extremely rare but i have several symptoms that match it. the total loss of hunger is most worrying. is your cough productive or not? i don't cough often but several times a day my throat feels up with sputum and i have to bring it all up.

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    • kay19801 longseason

      When I stopped smoking 3months ago the cough produced brownish tinged sputum, now its just a dry cough and if I do get phlegm stuck in my throat (which is a daily occurence) its clear.

      Have you just got no appetite at all? I suppose that is making you loose weight now also? I have to clear my throat quite often & the feeling of being strangled and cold air sensation in my throat when I breathe in is the thing that bugs me the post its almost debilitating knowing that something is wrong and the GP is not talking me seriously....

      When I saw the GP last week, he told me quite matter of factly if a chest xray is clear (even though he admits it can be missed, but rarely), bloods are normal and there is no fatigue or feeling of being just generally unwell the likelihood of having lung cancer is nearly zero however he does not dismiss that things can be missed BUT they have to rule everything else out first. 

      I guess if these sprays do not work he will be taking more bloods and sending me for a MRI on my throat or chest - GREAT MORE WORRY!

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    • longseason kay19801

      I haven't lost any weight because I have been inactive lately and eat the food that as made for me anyway, without the feeling of hunger. I'll get confirmation of the x-ray next week which I suspect is normal and it would be unusual to have two clear x-rays, but I can't accept it as final as I just don't feel right at all. not saying i definitely have cancer but it warrants the most thorough investgation possible in my opinion

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  • longseason kay19801

    Hi i got my 2nd x-ray results today and it says I have slightly emphsematous lungs. rolleyes I'm not really sure what this means yet but my doctor said it's very unusual in someone my age, still no cancer lesion seen on the x-ray but now i'm thinking i i'm old enough to have emphysema then am i old enough to have lung cancer? i don't think loss of appetite is a symptom of emphysema......she has referred me to a lung specialist and this will result in a ct scan she said, which is good

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Hi there

      OK so why was nothing seen like that on the 1st xray???, you have not got lung cancer. My GP said its VERY rare for someone to have lung cancer (reasonable mass size) to not show on an xray, I am still coughing every night and actually my diaphram hurts from the coughing, I am going back and going to ask for another xray and to be referred to a lung specialist also.

      Are you not eating because you are worried?

      I think referring you is the best course of action, a ct scan will be good. I just KNOW this what mine will come to, my throat is scratchy and tight ALL DAY, EVERYDAY!!!

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    • longseason kay19801

      i have no idea why nothing showed was picked up on first x-ray, that is pretty strange, it was some hopsital and same equipment, guess the interpretor was more diligent. i know it does seem very unlikely now especially after 2 clear x-rays. and i am eating but i still just never get hungry which i find really weird. and no it's definitely physical not due just to anxiety. and that's a good idea they have to refer you  if you ask. as your lung function test is normal i guess you have no copd though, mine was slightly abormal which i had around the same time as the x-ray

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Ive had 2 xrays within a year also so i dont know whats going on!!

      I just cough during sleep and have a cold asthmatic inhaling sensation all day with a scratchy throat have had it for a year now its so frustrating.

      I hope you get some answers soon. I assume you dont smoke right? I used to and quit 3 months ago. I hope we both dont have what we dread!

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    • longseason kay19801

      i pretty much quit last summer, had the odd one when not in a state to no any better ha, but definitely quit for good now. maybe you have an allergy as lung function tests are normal? 

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Yeah ive quit and have no desire to smoke again due to my anxiety of it causing lung cancer!

      Dr has given me steroid nasal spray now and wants to see me again in 3 weeks after ive used it for a while, currently, its not working. I have an asthma pump and when i feel a blocked sound in my theoat which sounds just like asthma the pump takes the feeling away BUT the spirometer tests were 100% normal! Its so baffling to me and i think to the GP's.

      When will your appointment come through for the lung specialist? What made it your chest? Did you cough etc?.....

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    • longseason kay19801

      they said it will be a few weeks.

      'what made it your chest?' as i say i have had an intermittent cough and rib pain for a while now, but the loss of appetite has been most worrying as that's a common symptom of lung cancer. but she's referring me to a specialist now because of the suspected mild emphysema from the 2nd x-ray

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    • longseason kay19801

      the pulmonologist reviwed my x-ray and has decided i in fact don't have emphysema after all so my appointment has cancelled.  real bummer as that was my ticket to get a chest ct to rule out lung cancer. i;ve been feeling really bad last couple of days so i have been lent the money from family to fund a private chest ct. you'd think 2 x-rays would show up lung cancer but i've read stories online of it missing it often rolleyes

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    • kay19801 longseason

      Oh no! Good news about the 2nd pair of eyes on the xray BUT how can the radiologist be wrong also its scary? I would not fund the ct scan privately though, i would insist that they send you as this would be the next step.

      I really hope you ok. Im going back next week

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    • kay19801 longseason

      That is really sad, why can they not just get it done for you and then they would all know and esp you would know what is going on...

      I guess you would need a referral to get a private CT scan?

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      No ct scan. Have been given a puffer. It works when i have a wheeze in my throat and the tightness goes a little, its the cough that wakes

      Me at night that is concerning me the most

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      I had a ct scan done earlier this year which was all within normal aswell as multiple chest x-rays.. just had another x-ray yesterday. The only reason i got a ct scan was due to seeing a Haematologist for enlarged lymph nodes in my neck and he wanted to see if there was any others, i have been prescribed 2 puffers now which dont seem to help with breathing at all

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I am still struggling - I now have muscle aches every single day esp in the upper back and left rib muscle....this is all very worrying....

      My throat feels scratchy like when you accidentally inhale deodorant and you get the instant tickle that actually makes your eyes water...thats what mine feels like...

      My GP said that if the steroid nasal spray and reflux PPI meds do not ease the cough he will be referring me to a lung specialist for further investigation, I am petrified this is a potential lung cancer

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    • kay19801 longseason

      I feel exactly the same way, I have had 2 chest xrays in last 14 months with the same symptoms for the whole 14 months, Dr's are now saying I have a possible post nasal drip and reflux.....what a load of rubbish...I thought I would give the steroid nasal spray a go but I am still coughing during the night.......at a loss and AGAIN going back to the GP next week!

      I have also noticed that my white blood cell count was 6.2 back in January 2016 - now April 2017 it is 7.56...........not right, surely.....

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    • KPips kay19801

      Hey. I gave up smoking over 3 yrs ago and ended up with a terrible cough for bloody ages. It's your body's way of starting to deal with nice clean air for a change smile

      And a cough is not always a sign of lung cancer. My mam was diagnosed out of the blue last year with no cough and her bloods were fine. She had weakness in her legs which prompted her to go to the doctors for months on end as they kept fobbing her off.

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    • kay19801 KPips

      Hi there

      Thanks for responding. The nightly cough wakes me from my sleep and its getting to me now! I am scared and worried that this could be lung cancer and everyone is just fobbing me off also!

      I am back at the dr tomorrow (a different one) and see where we go from here!

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  • kurt19299 kay19801

    Any news yet?

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Hi there

      Went to the dr again. He said its most likely acid reflux and increased my dosage of reflux meds. I have picked up loads of weight since this coughing started so the two he said could be linked. He wants to see me in 6 weeks time to check on the cough and if it hasnt left me or get better he will refer me to the respiratory unit at the hospital for further investigation i.e ct scans etc.

      I mentioned lung cancer and he said if it was i would be quite ill by now considering its nearly 6 months. Symptoms of lung cancer normally show when its advanced in most cases and i would have considerably more symptoms ie weight loss, fatigue, appetite loss, abnormal blood work.

      I shall wait and see. How are your symptoms doing?

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      I was told reflux to cause i do actually have it haha the meds help with it and im glad to hear your getting somewhere with this!

      Still no luck for me unfortunately, had another xray and more bloods from the specialist which are all normal. Doc is just putting it all down to anxiety as usual. From the first time i fell ill and went to the doctor in august last year i weighed 75kg and am now around 71kg so he says if it was cancer i would have lost more than that by now.. although i was around 66 when i was feeling really unwell due to not eating and what not. Just gotta keep going back and getting things checked up i guess

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I agree with your Dr that weight loss is not to be concerned about but I know its worrying.

      Im not convinced its reflux i have as the throat is scratchy even throughout the day now making me cough, its in my throat not my lungs, thats how it feels to me. My airway feels blocked most days and then its a horrible scratch feeling in my throat, this is possibly what its like when im sleeping also!

      Just hope its not what i dread i think of it every day!

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Its everything else that has been going on that worries me. Just keep up the reflux meds and see if they work.. also try drinking a couple of hot beverages throught out the day like tea or coffee

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I will do thank you smile

      I am so convinced now that I am more fatigued......another symptom of the dreaded C word......do you ever think when is this really going to end? It rules my life....

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Have they checked your airways or your throat at all? Yeh the fatigue sucks! I think to myself everyday that i wish i felt 100% haha im always feeling nauseous aswell that makes it worse

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Well I have a camera down my nose and throat last year and that was clear, and my airways well no they havent would you need a broncoscopy for that?

      Another worrying symptom for the last 4 weeks now is pain on my left like back pain but my my ribs every single day feels like a muscular pull so not sure if this is my spleen now or now or indeed some tumor pressing from the lung!

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Yeh one down the throat to check it and your stomach.. i havent had a bronchiscopy either..

      oh tell me about! I get that pain all the time for months now! Doctor is putting it down to muscles to haha

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      The left sided back pain is driving me nuts. I am the the point now where i am not sleeping as too afraid to sad

      Jeez wtf is going on with us!! I am demanding a referral to respiratory to investigate as something is clearly not right

      Im seeing a chiropractor on Monday and they take xrays of your back so ill find out if there is anything visible on the ribs or spine

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Yeh i went to a chiropractor and all they would do was realign my hips due to the symptoms i have been having they were a bit worried if they would make it worse..

      i have been getting pains inbetween my shoulder blades like in the middle as well as chest pains. Tried to play football today and nearly passed out i was getting that dizzy and my heart was racing that fast

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I hope we get answers soon!!!!

      I am literally going on Monday to the chiro and hopefully they will take an xray of my back and see wtf is happening....I will keep you posted....

      are you going back to your doctor?

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Yeh good idea! Youd think they would find something on a general chest x ray though.. i hope you find some answer! Yeh i think i will go back for a visit in the next week or 2

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I went to the dr i stead. He said my left side is tense on my back and i have most likely pulled a muscle. Given me diazepam for relaxing my muscles. The pain is now every morning on the left side by my ribs it does feel muscular. Not sure about the cough anymore if im doing it during the night or not

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      well thats good to hear i guess, maybe try seeing a massage therapist or something like that for their opinion?

      Oh so has the chest and coughing worries gone away? Ive just come down with another chest infection -.-

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I guess so its still a worry though!

      Im not if the cough during the sleep has gone but yesterday I had to use my inhaler as was feeling very wheezy again and scratchy throat so I used it and felt the wheeze go but the scratchy throat persists its so weird!!

      Im going back on the 16th to catch up with the dr about my chest/throat see what we do from here! Ideally I would like to be referred to respiratory so they can check if anything is going on as the symptoms are not gone

      How are you feeling?

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Im pleased you have been referred. Im going back Friday and requesting to be referred for a ct scan of my theoat or lungs i cant handle this anxiety and feeling in my theoat any longer or rib pain!

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Thats it. I had the throat symptoms yesterday but my rib was ok and back, today my back is aching only when i sit and the throat symptoms are gone, its so bizarre i cant explain this anymore. Going to the dr again soon and im just going to ask him to refer me for a once and for all specialist advise!

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Hi there

      No can only get an appointment on Jul 4th, more stress!

      Was your lung function tests normal? Tests on your heart......mmmm never thought about that, I am going back and want to be referred ASAP

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Yeh thats the day i go for my heart tests haha

      Yeh the doctor said my lung function tests were within the normal even though the machine made me do it 8 times cause apparently 3 werent close enough to the same

      What did the dr say when you went to them?

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      No way coincidence or what lol

      Well I did spirometery with reversability test and mine where the same before the inhaler and after maybe just a little more change after the inhaler so that was a warrant that I do not have copd or asthma.

      I was coughing myself awake last night again (seems to have started again) I had the fan on all night so not sure if dry air is making my throat irratated. I just need some specialist to sort this crap out once and for all I am sick of coughing and worrying.

      How are you feeling

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Well thats a good sign! I should probably get a test like that too see if i have copd..

      Yeh it could be the dry air or something irritating your throat and chest.

      Still feeling crap to be honest haha pains everywhere honestly and cramping in my arms hand and legs

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      Your lung function test should be with reversability to be honest to check for asthma.

      I am hoping its dry air irritating my throat, I was struggling all day yesterday with a constant tight band feeling over my throat it was hurrendous, I took two puffs of my inhaler and got relief, how strange!

      Pains? Like electric shock pains as I get these in my legs!

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      I just blew down a tube 8 times.. no puffer or anything. I do have one though but dont get much relief from it.. i do smoke though.

      Yeh i have like constant pains around my feet and what not and get like shock type pains

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      You dont cough or anything like that do you like me? I used to smoke, quit 5 months ago after 16 years of smoking and pleased I stopped, wont preach to you as you know the effects of smoking smile

      I get the same shock type pains in my right leg and have to literally hold my leg just to try stop it every now and then, my right leg also aches to stand on it after I have been driving its so weird...

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    • kurt19299 kay19801

      Yeh i cough like a trooper lately and have had multiple chesty infections over the past year.. i tried to quit last august and got sick and it has been downhill from there haha

      Yeh my legs ache just standing up to

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  • kurt19299 kay19801

    May even go back to the dr later this week and see if its possible to get a follow up ct scan just to rule it out once and for all cause the worry and anxiety is driving me nuts

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    • kay19801 kurt19299

      I really cannot handle the anxiety anymore, I have even increased the anxiety meds since all this kicked off! My throat is scratchy making me cough its so f*&*ing annoying and makes my anxiety so bad! I need a ct scan I really do as convinced its a tumor in my lung somewhere!

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