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- Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:37 am
I am concerned. My friend who is male, 19 years old, smoker, and light drinker was having problems breathing the other day, he had also been wheezing and coughing up phlegm. He went to see the doctor yesterday and he had blood samples and saliva samples taken. The doctor told him that his blood pressure was extremely high and that he had bad lungs. The doctor (perhaps after tests had come back i am not sure) said that the skin of his lung is peeling, and some of it was coming up (pressumably up through his throat and he was coughing it up).
I am really concerned what this all means. I am very worried that this could be a serious health issue. Obviously smoking may not be helping the issue...I thought the smoking had just burned his lungs but may be worried it could lead to cancer...
From what i am aware, him having trouble breathing isnt a regular thing. Last year he went to the doctor and found his heart was weak, and in a poor condition. Is this related to his lungs, i don't think so, but thought i should mention it.
Thankyou for your time,
| Dr. A. De la Guerra
- Sun Feb 19, 2006 1:53 am
Your fears about smoking are correct. Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia, killing more than 19,000 men and women each year. Lung cancer (80% caused by smoking), kills more Australians annually than any other kind of cancer.
I’m not saying that your friend has lung cancer, and I don’t think his problem is caused by a lung cancer, but if he doesn’t quit now the chances will increase. Also, as you pointed out, smoking is not helping him.
About the specific cause of his breathing problem, I don’t have enough information to tell you if this could be a serious illness. The unpleasant sensation of difficulty in breathing is known as dyspnea, which is more frequently caused by diseases of the heart or lungs. To determine the possible cause is important to evaluate several factors, such as the duration of the dyspnea, when and how started (on exertion or during rest, at daytime or nighttime, etc), the occurrence of other symptoms, and exercise tolerance. Other important information that may help includes allergies, job record, and past medical history, particularly respiratory and cardiac problems.
Although several pieces of information are missing for a more precise answer, at the end of your post you mentioned he has a heart condition, which might be the origin of his problem.
I wish luck to you and your friend.
Dr. Alberto de la Guerra.