I'm a 44yo smoker. Have had congestion in my lungs for about 4 years and x-rayed each year. Nothing had shown up until last week. Doc looked at xray last week and said "Nothing bad here", but when reviewed by radiologist, there was something on the upper left lobe. Doc said "Don't worry" and it "looks like scar tissue". I don't feel short of breathe, but do have a lot of mucus that seems to come from the area described. Still pretty easy to cough up. Sometimes use Albuterol inhaler, generally at night to help sleep, but no great problems with steps, moderate exercise, etc.
I've read a little on fibrosis and other issues, but am confused about COPD, ILD, Bronchitis, and cancer. From what I've read, it sounds like ILD or cancer. What are my options for either? If it's ILD, are there treatment options or do I just have to live with this (and how long)? From what I've seen, ILD sounds like the best I can hope for.
I've got a CT scan scheduled for Tuesday and follow-up with Doc on Friday. The wait is terrible. Any help/info greatly appreciated.
Your symptoms suggest the diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, due to cigarette smoking. Chronic bronchitis is a cough with mucus that lasts for at least 3 months in a row 2 years in a row. This is a warning sign. You should make a strong effort to stop smoking, now and forever. You may want to look at our giving up smoking information at http://www.nationaljewish.org/disease-info/wellness/smoking/index.aspx for ways to help you quit smoking. Also check with your doctor for other quit smoking resources in your area.
Localized "scar tissue" is not a sign of any of the diseases you mention. The CT scan will be the definitive answer to the question of interstitial lung disease (ILD). If you do have CT evidence of ILD you will probably need a lung biopsy to establish the type of ILD. Then that would guide treatment and allow for a determination of prognosis.
The likelihood is that the x-ray abnormality is just a little scarring and nothing more. Don't let your worry convince you that you have serious or even life threatening disease, until all the evidence is in.
Scar tissue can result from a previous chest infection, ILD is rarely seen in localised areas and is very rare. It is also generally seen along with connective tissue diease and rarely on its own. Cancer is also rare.
Chronic Bronchitis is the most common illness to affect young smokers.
A HR CT will prove either way it this is indeed ILD. No one else can tell if this is anything else, give up surfing the net until you have the scan.
Give up smoking, it appears it is causing you problems.
You will have to quit one day so quit now while you can still breathe without supplemental O2. Chronic bronchitis does harm the lungs with frequent coughing and it is considered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Next up emphysema.
I had a CAT SCAN done on Monday and my doctor just called and said they founf scarring and I need to see a pulmonologist.
I am 42 years old and I have never smoked.
When I was in first grade, they gave all the children those TB test. I had a positive reaction to my test and my left lung collapsed. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks and I am told they injected my lung with some sort of ink or dye. On accassions, I will cough up what looks like pieces of tonsil. I don't have any problems breathing. Could something that happened almost 36 years ago be coming back to haunt me some how. I am trying not to worry but I can't help it.
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