Everyone coughs occasionally. You get a cough when your allergies are active, you cough when you have colds, and the flu, and upper respiratory infections can cause a cough. When you cough for a prolonged period of time, and you have no clear reason for that cough, then you need to seek medical attention. The cough may be a warning sign of a potentially deadly form of cancer.

Lung cancer can be a deadly disease

Many people die of lung cancer because the disease is difficult to diagnose and a lot of doctors miss the symptoms. Most people who are diagnosed with lung cancer when it is in its early stages are just lucky because their doctor discovered it while trying to prove another condition existed.
Some people think that they are safe from lung cancer because they do not smoke. Smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer and according to documented cases of this disease between 16,000 and 24,000 of them are people who were non-smokers.
Women who do not smoke have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than men who do not smoke.
Research suggests that if lung cancer amongst non-smoking people were put into its own category, it would be one of the 10 deadliest forms of cancer. The American cancer Society says that lung cancer amongst non-smokers is one of the biggest killers.


The common way that lung cancer is caught is for the patient to have a CT scan. Most patients who find out they have lung cancer when it is in its early stages do so because they were having a CT scan for another reason.
If lung cancer is detected in its early stages that is a much greater chance of survival. Some forms of lung cancer can be slowed, or blocked, by daily doses of oral medications to stop the cancer cells from dividing and spreading.

What this means to doctors

Doctors should be actively testing patients who complain of persistent coughs. Currently, non-smokers are not considered to be in a high risk category for lung cancer, so many doctors do not run CT scans on them when they complain of persistent coughs. That practice will need to change so more cases of this deadly disease can be discovered while it is treatable.

What this means to you

As a patient, you need to be aware that there is the possibility of lung cancer even if you do not smoke. If you develop a cough, and have no clear indications as to why you are coughing, and the cough seems to linger for weeks on end, then you need to see your doctor and voice your concerns of lung cancer.
If an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure, then a simple CT scan could surely save your life. Insist that your physician do the proper testing to rule out early stage lung cancer.