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Thread: Brown phlegm, blood, only in the morning

  1. #1

    Brown phlegm, blood, only in the morning

    Hi all,

    I'm planning a visit to the GP next week but would like to get some thoughts.
    I've had post nasal drip/phlegm in throat (I'm never sure if the mucus comes from my nose or my throat...) for years now. Used to come and go, but it's been worse for months. Had drops, pills to make the mucus more fluid and it helps. No allergies (the ENT checked) just a polyp in one of my nostrils.
    I've also been spitting brown phlegm first thing in the morning (no cough - just feeling I have to spit a bit of mucus stuck in throat) - I'm ashamed to say it's been years now and I thought it was normal, as in to do with digestion or so. And the rest of the day, phlegm is quite thick but transparent. I've smoked socially between the age of 21 and 24 (so probably about 10 cigarettes a week if that - also went for months without in between...) and haven't touched anything since (I'm 33 now). For the past few days thought, I've noticed that this brown phlegm now has blood in it... So yeah, I'm a bit panicky and now thinking that the brown stuff had blood in it all along and I've basically been walking around with something serious for years.
    So thinking the worst (lung cancer fear, hello!). I don't cough, I'm not short of breath, no pain in chest, just this annoying phlegm all day. I have bad gum disease (being treated for that now but it comes and goes as well) but would it be possible that my gums bleeds only during the night and that the blood runs at the back of my throat? No trace of blood in mouth in the morning... something sinus related maybe?
    If it was sign of cancer, wouldn't I been spitting blood all day and coughing?
    I would had that I had a chest Xray done a couple of months ago (for something unrelated) and it came back clear.
    Any advice would be great

  2. #2

    Re: Brown phlegm, blood, only in the morning

    Sorry to hear of your worry. My dad died from lung cancer seven years ago. He was a heavy smoker from an early teen until he found out he had it at 54. He also worked in chromium electro plating in his twenties, which is what the doctors think caused it. He was coughing up blood throughout the day, and the cough wasnít a normal kind of cough - it sounded like he was never going to catch a breath in between. It was scary, and unmistakable that something was wrong. He had a chest X-ray that picked up a shadow, and it all went from there pretty quickly. I think the fact that youíve only recently had a clear X-ray should give you a lot of confidence that this issue youíre having isnít lung cancer.
    Also, if it helps, Iíve been coughing up a few streaks of blood recently in the morning. It hasnít crossed my mind that it is due to lung cancer, as itís definitely different from how my dad presented. Iím putting it down to allergies, post nasal drip, dry cold air (and then humid wet air! Contrast weather is crazy in the UK right now!) and I think itís actually coming from the nose and dripping downwards to my throat. I definitely donít think itís anything sinister like what youíre thinking. Iím not a medical professional, but I think from what youíve said that youíre pretty safe here. Hope this helps

  3. #3

    Re: Brown phlegm, blood, only in the morning

    Thank you so much :-). It seems silly to worry about it now after having it for years! Like you, I was putting it down to dry air (house is incredibly dry and I sleep with my mouth open) and post nasal drip and when out of curiosity I decided to Google it because I found it annoying more than anything. And as usual Dr Google started predicting my death in a matter of minutes and got me all panicky.
    Still going to the GP for my peace of mind but feeling better!

  4. #4

    Re: Brown phlegm, blood, only in the morning

    No problem Of course, go to your doctor for peace of mind. But try not to let your curiosity kill the cat. The kill being google and the cat being your worries. If youíre anything like me after consulting Dr Google, youíre just left highly anxious, panicky and assuming the worst. (Iím just as bad, so I need to remember this myself!) All the best to you, youíll be fine!

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