I have had mild chest pain for about three months. I had a CT scan done about (2) months ago that came back fine. I am a smoker and though I've cut down, I haven't yet quit. The chest pain is constant but moves from left to right side on any given day. I have a very dry cough that does not produce any mucus and it relatively constant. I had a rough month long bout of bronchitis about three months ago, and afterward this cough showed up. I always feel like I have something to cough up, but nothing ever does. I also feel the pain in my back sometimes and wasn't sure if this was COPD or if I might have a compressed nerve. I don't see why my cough would be like this if it were a pinched nerve. The pain seems to radiate in the bottom portion of my lungs and it feels like it's deep inside. Do I need to get another CT scan? Is this something possibly caused by early stages of lung cancer? I don't want to be a hypochondriac but I can't figure out what is wrong. My doctor did the CT and basically gave up when it came back clean, as though I was imagining it. I am 34 years old and have smoked since I was sixteen so almost 18 years with the habit. Is there another reason for these symptoms or do I need to get another CT?
If the CT scan was normal/negative, just 2 months ago, there is no need for another one now. But you really should give serious consideration to quitting smoking, completely and for good.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ordinarily does not cause chest pain, unless there is rib or nerve damage due to hard coughing. Also the pain would not be a sign of lung cancer, when the CT was normal.
The pain could be due to a pinched nerve, either along the ribs or in the spine. You should have evaluation for a pinched nerve in the spine, often referred to as nerve root compression. It is unfair to suggest that you are "imagining" the pain. If your doctor truly "gave up", then you should consider seeing another doctor.
it's a very vague pain yes, that moves around from side to side in my chest. And in my upper back. I never have felt it in my neck or my arms, but it is not a sharp or intense pain. I can't even classify it as pain, it's more of an uncomfortable sensation. It is constantly there, but like I said it seems to move around. And now looking at it the cough isn't as much of a cough as much as a constant need to clear something that never seems to come up, but the coughing never gets intense and uncontrollable. It is more of a nuisance in the bottom of my chest that I can't clear. Just for background, I jog about three miles a day and never have trouble with my wind, and eat an extremely healthy diet. I am a bit scared and frustrated since my doctor wasn't able to do anything without a picture to show him what was wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am going to a different doctor next week to discuss it, but I am severely under-insured and can only go so far with testing. I greatly appreciate any help narrowing down possible causes so I'm not blowing money on frivolous tests.
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