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Q. What is the possibility of lung cancer in a smoker with family history of cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 05, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am a 31-year-old male. I am a smoker for 12 years. I am having throat congestion, cold, and now having excess mucus production with no history of weight loss. I have taken a chest x-ray in which there is a white patch on the right side. I wanted to know if it is cancer? My father is a known case of cancer lung. All my blood test reports are normal.

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology


Welcome to

I have seen your x-ray. (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

The chest x-ray shows a prominent right hilar area most likely due to rotation. I mean you were rotated in position when the x-ray was taken and this might cause a false appearance of right hilar vascular prominence.

To me, it does not look like cancer but thought is to be given to your symptoms. If possible please decrease and stop smoking. I will suggest a discussion of your symptoms and clinical examination by your doctor and if there is a need then a CT (computed tomography) chest can be done.

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Thank you doctor,

I have taken the photo (from the computer) through my phone in a tilting position. Is there any chance of the lesion being a tubercular lesion? I have done the Mantoux test today morning. I am planning to take a CT chest. Is it good to take a CT now?

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology


Welcome back to

The change in position is not due to taking the picture from phone. The x-ray position rotation is due to the positioning problem while taking the x-ray. Tubercular lesions can be of many types and patterns. Any pattern can be found in TB. Mantoux test is to look for the tendency of tuberculosis and does not confirm TB in every patient. It can be falsely positive in some patients.

CT scan is a confirmation test and will help to look for suspected disease areas in detail. It is good to do a CT chest scan plain and contrast if there are any symptoms and if required after clinical examination.

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