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Cough and Lung Cancer

Mikaela Millan


November 4, 2021
CoughPro is not a medical product. It is a wellness app intended only for users to obtain a better understanding of their cough. It is not intended to diagnose, monitor, or treat any illness.

We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.

Model of lungs

When you have a cough in this day and age, it can cause alarm and anxiety. This symptom can be particularly worrisome if you smoke or have a family history of lung disease or cancer. While you cannot precisely tell whether or not you have cancer, based on just your cough, here are some important signs, and symptoms to look out for, as well as things you can do if you think you may have lung cancer. 

What is a Typical Lung Cancer Cough?

Specific characteristics are related to lung cancer. For example, suppose any of the following symptoms accompany your cough. In that case, you may have lung cancer and need to consult your doctor. 

  • Chronic cough or cough that lasts longer than two months
  • Dry or productive (expels mucus) cough
  • Cough that interrupts your sleep
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain when you cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia

While you might not experience all of these symptoms, having a good number of them will lead your doctor to suspect lung cancer. It is vital that you completely and accurately describe the symptoms you are experiencing. This way, it will be easier to determine the exact cause of your cough, and you can receive the appropriate treatment. 

What Causes Lung Cancer?

Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. However, you can also develop lung cancer even if you do not smoke. Here are some of the other common causes of lung cancer

  • Smoking - accounts for 70% of cases and contains 60 different toxic substances; it also increases your risk for esophageal and mouth cancer.
  • Passive smoking - frequent exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke or secondhand smoking can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Radon - this is a radioactive gas found in nature such as rocks and soils. It also has a more artificial presence, in old buildings.
  • Occupational exposure and pollution - chemicals and substances like arsenic, asbestos, coal, and silica can cause lung cancer.

Knowing the harmful effect of these substances can help you take measures to counter them. For example, one easy and effective way to lower your risk of lung cancer is by quitting your smoking habit. Whereas, if you need to handle the mentioned toxic substances,  it is fundamental to employ appropriate safety uniforms and equipment. These measures are simple but can greatly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer. You also protect those around you by limiting your exposure to these harmful substances. 

A woman lighting a cigarette

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Early detection makes a huge difference in the treatment of cancer. This is why it is essential that you immediately consult your doctor if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of lung cancer:

  • Persistent cough or cough that worsens over time
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
  • Chest pain that worsens when you cough, breathe deeply or laugh
  • Hoarseness
  • Lose your appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

Since this is cancer, malignant cells might gain the ability to spread from your lungs to other parts of your body. These cancer cell migrations are called metastases and may manifest as bone pain (or pain in the back and hips), changes in your nervous system (headache, weakness in your arms and legs, dizziness, problems with balance), yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice), and lymph nodes. Be on the lookout for these symptoms as they can alert your doctor to the possible spread of the disease. 

How Will My Doctor Treat This?

Your doctor will probably request several tests to determine if it is indeed lung cancer. These tests include a pulmonary function test, blood test, chest x-ray, CT scan, PET scan, and bronchoscopy or biopsy. With the aid of these diagnostic tools, your doctor will be able to confirm the presence or absence of cancer, narrow down the specific cause and extent of your lung cancer. 

Once your doctor confirms the presence of lung cancer, they can then start appropriate treatment. Treatment will involve other specialists and a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The optimal approach on the type of lung cancer you have, its size and position, how advanced it is (stage), and your overall health. For example, multidisciplinary oncological teams can manage lung cancers with lower stages by performing surgery and administering chemotherapy. This combination has proven effective in some cases because it prevents cancerous cells from growing back. In contrast, teams usually treat lung cancers in higher stages (usually spread too broadly in the body) with chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

The multidisciplinary teams tailor the treatment to the particular molecular weaknesses of the cancer type and the patient's health status. If you are a patient, do not hesitate to ask your doctor questions or raise any concerns or apprehensions you may have about treatment.

How do I Prevent Lung Cancer?

A woman jogging

You cannot (with the technology currently available) reprogram your genes, especially if you have a family history of lung cancer. But there is always something you can do. Namely, the best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking, which pretty quickly helps to cough less. Not only do you decrease your risk of getting serious illnesses, but your chances of developing lung cancer reduces by half after you have stopped smoking for ten years. Apart from this, here are other ways you can prevent lung cancer:

  • A balanced diet - low-fat, high-fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables with plenty of wholegrains
  • Regular exercise - at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week
  • Adequate sleep
  • Stress management techniques

Employing these simple but effective measures will definitely go a long way in preventing lung cancer. If you experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms, consult your doctor right away.

Click here to learn more about lung cancer, its signs and symptoms, and its diagnosis and treatment.

Your Cough Matters

Based on our results in Google Play & App Store
  • Excellent, insightful
    By dust mite dan - Apr 7, 2023 - App Store
    This app is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and has provided me with useful information about my cough and disease patterns that have improved my overall health!

    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Great app!
    by Imtfx0019 — Dec 6, 2022 - App Store
    Impressed with how well it detected my coughs, even very slight ones.
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • App is Great!
    by HBert Quach — Jan 22, 2023, - Google Play
    App is great at tracking cough when little ones are sick. I treat it as a early warning indicator before the cold gets back. Customer service is awesome, they actually respond to all my questions.
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Great Experience
    by Christi Hammock — Mar 7, 2023, - Google Play

    I had an issue logging into the new app but I contacted the support team and they were awesome in helping me figure out the issue. It turned out to be a technical issue which they resolved very quickly and I was kept in the loop on the status from start to finish. This app is really helpful when talking to my doctor too..
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Impressive app
    By KayakTina - Apr 7, 2023 - App Store
    "The app accurately is recording my coughs with excellent ways to review the results. I can add notes to help me identify patterns or have accurate information for my physicians. I’ve hoped for an app like this for years to help me accurately track the amount of coughing I’m doing"
    Try CoughPro for Free
  • Accurate count of coughs
    by Beardonna — Mar 8, 2023 - App Store

    Just installed the app. Very accurate measuring coughs so far! Cannot wait to see how much coughing I do while sleeping. I'll have a better picture to discuss with my physician at my next visit.

    Try CoughPro for Free

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