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Can the severity of my cough indicate whether or not I have lung cancer?

Severity of your cough is not an indication of whether or not you have lung cancer. Often, serious cough is associated with infection. Heavy smoking can also lead to a worrisome cough.

There are many reasons why people have a cough. Most new coughs are related to an irritation in the lung such as viral infection or bacterial infection. These coughs usually improve and then completely disappear once the infection has gone away. Some people have coughs that are persistent over months or years, and these are usually related to such things as acid reflux (heartburn), irritation from smoking, asthma, chronic lung damage, exposure to irritants in the surrounding environment, or other problems unrelated to the lungs themselves.

However, a cough may, at times, be a sign of lung cancer. Lung cancers may irritate the lungs or windpipe, stimulating a cough. The severity of a cough is not related to whether a lung cancer is present. Many people who have lung cancer don't have any cough at all. Coughs related to a lung cancer can range from a gentle tickle to something much more irritating and bothersome.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.