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Lung Cancer

Hi, I am a 29 year old female, never smoked and healthy weight.  I have had a chronic cough for about 3 years, it annoying but not sever and I sometimes cough up small amounts of clear mucous.  In April I developed a feeling of one side of my chest rattling, the doctor took an xray and diagnosed mild pneumonia in the left lung.  I was not at all unwell, no fever and the cough was only moderately worse than usual.  I took oral antibiotics and the follow up xray showed complete resolution and concluded clear lungs.  However I still feel a rattle and grating on the left side of my chest when I inhale deeply, I only feel this when lying down, doctors have not been able to hear it.  I have seen a pulmonologist who sent me for a CT scan which showed no abnormality, sprirometry which was completely normal and CBC which was completely normal.  However there are still unusual feelings and sounds coming from the left lung, what do I do next?  Could this be cancer?
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Avatar universal
Hi,

Visualizing the airways is a reasonable step, especially if it seems that the sounds are largely emanating from these areas. There is a limit however, as to how far the scope is able to go, so this may be useful only as far as the scope goes. If the problem is beyond the reach of the scope, then the scope would not be helpful. Stay positive.  
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply, I was wondering if you coudl answer a further question, My pulmonologist wants me to undergo a bronchoscopy because I can still feel a rattle and continue to cough.  Do you think this is a necessary next step?  How often are lung cancers missed on CT and what are the general characteristics of those cancers?
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply, I was wondering if you coudl answer a further question, My pulmonologist wants me to undergo a bronchoscopy because I can still feel a rattle and continue to cough.  Do you think this is a necessary next step?  How often are lung cancers missed on CT and what are the general characteristics of those cancers?
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Avatar universal
Hi,

Cancer tends to form masses so the CT scan should be able to find something. If it is cancer causing the symptoms, then it would usually be large enough to be detected by the CT scan. Try to find out if it seems to be dependent on certain body positions. Try to find out also if the pulmonologist was able to detect something to what you are describing during the physical examination. Another thing to investigate is whether the sound is the problem. If it is always there and there nothing seems to be amiss with the lung – could it be something in the ear and its connections with the throat? A visit to an ENT may be something to consider then. Stay positive.
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