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Old 07-10-2008, 06:06 PM   #1
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worried about my (possible) asthma symptoms-wheeze when I exhale

I'm 41 years old and in good health. As long as I can remember, even as a child, I've had issues with wheezing and coughing, particularly after a cold, virus or exposure to some allergen. I'm almost positive I was diagnosed with asthma as a child(but I can't remember for sure.) I also have had bad allergies and mild excema my whole life. Lately, I've noticed that when I exhale really hard, I get this little wheeze right at the end of the exhale, no problems at all when I inhale. I've had it now for a few weeks, and I'm becoming really concerned. Is this a common problem or symptom of asthma? I've also had ongoing sinus problems my whole life (I have a deviated septum) and that's been really bad lately too, and I'm not sure if that's aggravating this wheezing or not. My biggest concern is that this is lung cancer-I have myself convinced this is something really bad going on. I grew up in a house with a smoking parent, so I've been exposed to lots of secondhand smoke. I was also a former dental assistant, and I was exposed to god knows how many chemicals over the years. I've been researching how having asthma greatly increases your risk of lung cancer, as well as second hand smoke and chemical exposure, so you could see why I'm so scared here. I am finally going to make an appointment with a pulmonary specialist ASAP to finally see if this is truly asthma, or something else. In the meantime, if anyone else can help answer some of my questions, I would be really grateful. I have a small daughter and a husband with a lot of health problems right now, and I need to be healthy for them. I am just so scared a chest x-ray is going to show something really bad!! Sorry to sound whiny-hope someone responds!!

 
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: worried about my (possible) asthma symptoms-wheeze when I exhale

I don't know where you've read that asthma increases your chances for asthma or any of th eother stuff but you need to see a pulmologist and get a real diagnosis. You can find anything out there to say you'll die from just about anything...but it isn't necessarily true. Asthma doesn't damage the cells in the appropriate way so it can't cause cancer. It really doesn't sound like you have much of a problem so I really wouldn't worry about it. Having a wheeze on the inhale is more symptomatic of asthma...not the exhale. Bottom line...get to the doctor and get tested.

 
Old 07-10-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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Re: worried about my (possible) asthma symptoms-wheeze when I exhale

Thanks for the reply-I do plan on seeing a pulmonary specialist as soon as I can get an appointment. As far as asthma and an increased risk of lung cancer-I did research on that and from what I read, there is indeed a link between the two. It is not my intent to scare anyone-I only found that out today myself, and was concerned when I read about it. I hope it's not true-and I don't believe everything I read, I just try to educate myself the best I can when I come across medical studies like that, because I do tend to be a worrier. I would also like some other opinions about my wheeze-I always thought asthma produced wheezing both on the inhale and exhale, not only the inhale.

 
Old 07-10-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: worried about my (possible) asthma symptoms-wheeze when I exhale

One needs to keep in mind where this sort of information originates. After a short search for asthma + cancer risk, it appears that 6 results stated no correlation (one of which was a study by the National Institutes of Health) and only one indicated there was a correlation and stated one should drink white grapefruit juice to counteract it. I always try to sort the wheat from the chaff by first considering the source. Of course, I do realize that each of us has our own bases for validity.

Last edited by Titchou; 07-10-2008 at 07:42 PM.

 
Old 07-10-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: worried about my (possible) asthma symptoms-wheeze when I exhale

Titchou is right on. Based on the information I found, the link between asthma and lung cancer is a very shaky link that doesn't have much true medical data to support it. It looks like there is one study that suggested a link vs. many that found no link between the two.

As a long-time asthma sufferer with a world class pulmonologist, I can tell you that my pulmonologist has never referred to a link between the two. By far the biggest risk factors for lung cancer are smoking and a family history of lung cancer - I couldn't find any credible source that listed asthma as a risk factor.

As for the wheeze, a wheeze while exhaling is actually more indicative of asthma than a wheeze while inhaling (although both are possible). It sounds like you should definitely see a pulmonologist to help you put your concerns to rest.

 
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