Lung cancer ‘red flag’ symptom hemoptysis that happens when you cough


Lung cancer is the third most common type of the disease in the UK, and is more likely as you get older.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are around 48,500 new lung cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s more than 130 every day.

Coughing up blood is rarely a sign of serious illness. However, in older people, particularly smokers, it’s a cause for concern. The medical term for coughing up blood is haemoptysis, according to the NHS.

A leading UK medical negligence firm has shared “the red flag symptoms” of lung cancer as well as what your doctor should do during a check-up.

It comes as NHS drug watchdogs last week approved a ‘game changing’ drug for lung cancer patients.

Mobocertinib tablets will be given to patients battling a rare and aggressive form of the disease, with doctors set to start to dish it out within weeks.

Medical Negligence solicitor Kim Jackson, from Patient Claim Line, told the Express: “More than half of people diagnosed with lung cancer will die within one year of diagnosis, even with treatment.

“Obviously, the sooner lung cancer is detected, the greater chance you have of survival.

“However, it all depends on the staging of the lung cancer and the health of the person overall.”

A leading UK medical negligence firm has shared “the red flag symptoms” of lung cancer

She shared the warning signs that could be pointing to the condition, such as hemoptysis.

Describing other warning signs, Jackson continued: “Red flag symptoms include a persistent cough that can deteriorate, coughing up blood and chest pain that is worse with deep breathing, coughing or laughing.

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“A loss of appetite, weight loss that cannot be explained and fatigue are also key signs of lung cancer.

“Watch out for hoarseness, breathlessness, a new onset of wheezing and infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that are persistent.”

When it comes to a cough, the NHS adds that lung cancer cough doesn’t go away after two or three weeks.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your GP, the health service advises.

Once you visit your doctor, Jackson explained what should happen during the check-up.

She said: “A GP should examine you and ask you to breathe into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air you breathe in and out.

“A blood test might be requested to rule out some of the possible causes of your symptoms.

“The main test to diagnose lung cancer is a chest X-ray. A CT scan will also be advised as well as a PET-CT scan.”

According to a 2017 study published in the medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, hemoptysis can be a symptom of many different diseases including bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis.

However, its more common causes include infectious and inflammatory airway diseases (25.8%) and cancer (17.4%).

It states: “Differentiation of mild and massive hemoptysis is urgent because they are diagnosed and treated differently. Massive bleeding fills the airways and leads to death from asphyxia.”

“Conservatively treated massive hemoptysis is fatal in 50 to 100% of cases.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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