Is there any chance of lung cancer if there is spitting of blood with phlegm?

Q. Is there any chance of lung cancer if there is spitting of blood with phlegm?

Answered by
Dr. Harsha D. S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 31, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jul 05, 2023

Hello doctor,

If X-ray is clear and the person is having a good appetite and no fatigue but the person is spitting up blood with phlegm not always. Sometimes the phelgm is white and sometimes black and sometimes traces of blood in phlegm. No chest pain, no shortness of breath. Is anything to worry? Is there any chance of lungs cancer after clear X-ray.



Welcome to I have read your issues. Coughing up blood can be a symptom of many diseases like throat or chest infection, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis (a disease where your windpipes are damaged) or lung cancer. A detailed history of complaints and your reports are needed to determine the reason. If you are below 40 years and coughing up blood only for a few days, it is likely a chest infection or tuberculosis (TB). If age is above 40 and a smoker, we need to consider the possibility of cancer. If coughing blood is for months to years, bronchiectasis is the likely cause. If X-ray is normal, TB and cancer become less likely. I would suggest you get a sputum exam for TB, blood tests CBC (complete blood count) and ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate). If TB is not detected in sputum and coughing up blood is persistent, computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest may be needed. The probable causes include bronchitis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis. The investigations to be done are CBC, ESR, sputum AFB (acid-fast bacillus) smear, chest high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scan.

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