Have had shortness of breath, nail clubbing, and cough for a month...lung cancer or just anxiety?

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2016
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/27/2016 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I'm 23, male, non-smoker. I have no family history of any cancer or lung disease. I do have GERD/acid reflux, which I've had for about 3 years.


My very first symptom, about 2 months ago (October) was some "hardened" lymph nodes in the left supraclavicular region and in the lower rear of my neck on the left side -- this is what sent me hurrying to doctors to figure out what's going on.

Then, since early/mid November (about a month ago), I've been having noticeable SOB and occasionally a cough when I breath too deeply or when I wake up. The cough mucus is usually white to yellow, occasionally get some red streaks. I have been feeling quite tired/fatigued, and despite my weight looking relatively consistent on the scale and appetite being normal, I've dropped 2 pant sizes in the last month or so.

Tests So Far:
>Bloodwork = Elevated CRP, ESR, Monocytes, Eosinophils, and Basophils

>Neck MRI w/ and w/o contrast (11/05/16) = visible sub-centimeter supraclavicular and posterior cervical nodes. (Report says "normal exam")

>Pulmonary Function Test (12/13/16) = "Restrictive Breathing Pattern that did not respond significantly to short-acting bronchodilator therapy."

>Non-Contrast High-Resolution Chest CT (12/02/16) = normal ----- Note: about this, I checked to make sure it wasn't just a few thin slices in a few parts of the lung. The scan definitely covered the whole lung down to the upper abdomen. Just doesn't use IV contrast

>Contrast-enhanced Chest CT (12/22/16) = normal

No clear diagnosis.

Although I still feel the collarbone lump/node, no physician has actually felt it and therefore is not inclined to biopsy.

It's difficult for me to trust the tests when my symptoms are just getting worse. I don't even know what to trust anymore and at this point I'm just about ready to give up.

Thank you for any suggestions or ideas!

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 27945
   Posted 12/27/2016 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello AL and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your current symptoms and health worries. I know how difficult this is. Is this your first experience with health worries, or is this an established pattern for you?

As long as your doctor is not concerned with your test results, neither should you be. ..

...and if your fears persist, you should focus on anxiety treatment in order to feel your best.smile

See our Resources at the top of the main forum page here for great self help material. ..and keep posting with us for support.

Scaredy Cat

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 6013
   Posted 12/28/2016 12:09 AM (GMT -6)   
The only other factor I can think of is "over active thyroid", i lost 45 lbs in three months wouldn't go to doctor and ended up in ER for another reason, doctor took one look at me and said i think i know whats wrong,
anyway is was corrected without surgery and i now take one 137mg levothroid a day. Peace

Larry ***

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 12/28/2016 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you are doing all the right things by getting checked out medically. I echo SC's comments that you should take some comfort in what the doctor is saying. Personally I've had what I thought were swollen nodes only to be told they were normal. I think when a doctor says medically swollen they mean really swollen. I think they are normally a bit lumpy and sometimes firm feeling, especially if near the surface of the skin. In my life, I've also had coughs that won't quit for months.

Are you anxious about your health to the point of not sleeping or sleeping with difficulty? The reason I ask is that if you are having sustained anxiety and unable to relax that can definitely cause your weight to drop. That was my problem a few years ago. I lost almost 20 pounds due to unrelenting anxiety that lasted 2.5 months.

Oh and I wonder if your GERD may be causing some esophageal issues or irritating your bronchials? I have acid reflux at times and it causes all sorts of weird problems.

Hang in there!
Anxiety Sufferer Since the 1980s

Lexapro @ 10mg per day
Trazodone as needed for sleep

Post Edited (AnxiousTexan) : 12/28/2016 8:18:01 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2016
Total Posts : 644
   Posted 12/29/2016 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Andrew
Welcome to HW.

Sorry your struggling at the moment.... All these things come to try us.

And they can be very trying... If you can try and take on board the Doctors comments that all is well, try some coping skills and see if you can decrease the anxiety you are experiencing.
Anxiety can easily make you lose weight. everything on high alert burns off more calories .. not the nicest way to lose weight but it happens. especially if with the anx your appetite has decreased.

Keep us informed how you get on with things and try some good coping skills x
general anxiety - knock on effect to health anxiety -My down fall is always putting others
first but that's just who i am

Love is like a magic penny hold it tight and you wont have any, lend it spend it give it away and all that love comes back your way..
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