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Question about emphysema
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Question about emphysema

I know I already asked one question on here in a different section but I wanted to know more.  After reading many other posts I am learning about the inherited disease that can cause emphysema.  I am 30 years old and had a spontaneous lung collapse.  After a CT I was told I had quite a bit of emphysema for someone my age.  I have never really noticed any problems with breathing and I quit smoking last march, and actually have better breathing function.  My mother died at age 47, her brother in his early 50's and their mother in her early 60's of lung cancer.  All of them were smokers.  So know I question because of the damage that is already done to my lungs from this emphysema, are my chances of cancer greater now?  Also I do not have very good health insurance.  Can anyone point me in a direction to a specialist that I may be able to see.  I am on the east coast.
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242588_tn?1224275300
CT scan evidence of emphysema is a pretty reliable way to make the diagnosis.  Sounds like you may have the inherited form of the disease.  But, you will need to have pulmonary function tests (PFTs) done to quantify the severity of the emphysema, these days often referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Lung cancer appears to occur with increased frequency in your family and that would increase your risk.  It also appears that the inherited form of COPD, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, also is in your family.  Please read our alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency or inherited emphysema information at http://www.nationaljewish.org/disease-info/diseases/copd/about/alpha1-antitrypsin.aspx to learn more.

Smoking and the development of COPD would also increase your risk.  Five years or so, after complete smoking cessation, your risk of lung cancer will have been significantly reduced, but never to the level of one who has never smoked.  To save your lungs from rapidly progressive emphysema and reduce your risk of cancer, you must try very hard, to never smoke again.

It is not surprising that your breathing would have improved, even in the relatively short time since you quit smoking.  It may continue to do so for a long time.
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
At your age with signs of emphysema you should be tested for Alpha-1. Here is a link that you can get a free mail in kit. Also if you are having any breathing problems you should have a PFT test (pulmonary function test)
                                                        http://tinyurl.com/2wxpwu
Gary
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351724_tn?1267540618
hello bubjon , i too am only 31  with copd /asthma  just found out 2 months ago . i also smoked  on and off for 18yrs .smoke anywhere from 1-2 pks a day . not to mention i was 3 months premature, with some lung problems but they got better as  i got older , well at least thats what i thought ! until now .  i too applied for that alpha-1 test kit , im still waiting lol im sure ill get it soon if not owell ill just go to my doc in jan and ask him to refer me to a pulm doc .my grandmother died at the age of 66 , she had lung cancer,copd/asthma, bone cancer, tumor on spine (cancer) , diabetits, high blood pressure, and chf and she died of that because her heart wasnt strong enough ! im just afraid  like you are with the inherited  copd . not to mention i also read about another lung disease affecting women in there child bearing yrs its called LAM  , here is a link for you to check out thats if you are female !      http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/a-z/lymphangioleiomyomatosis-lymphangioleiomyomatose/index_e.php

2young
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes I am female too and I will be looking at that site for sure.  I have a lot of unanswered questions and just very unsure of the whole thing...
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351724_tn?1267540618
me too , im so confused i dont know what is what anymore . i had my nurse fudge up my spirometry test she put me as 4 F4 and im 5 F 2 . and then told me that oh its no big change . but i beg to differ .i guess im the type of person who is kinda afrraid of what might be said  = ( by others . i know i shouldnt be that way but im s shy type . i rarely ask questions .
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351724_tn?1267540618
hey was wondering how u were doing , if u found out anything ? please let me know ......2young
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351724_tn?1267540618
well i asked my doc about that spirometry results , he told me not really but then brushed it off like he didnt want to tell me . so i guess im just gonna have to serach for a pulm doc and ask them about it and see what they say. best of luck to you at the docs. please inform me and ill do the same !!! ...........hugs 2young
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