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Are black lungs when you don't smoke a sign of cancer ?

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Are black lungs when you don't smoke a sign of cancer?

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replied August 8th, 2007
Lung Cancer Answer A3107
You wrote:

"Current medical status: Went to doctors, said I had an ear infection, went back, gave me other medicin because the first didn't work.. then next time they did an x-ray on the lungs and they said my lungs were black and asked if I smoked.. said I had bronchitis"

People who smoke a lot or breathe polluted air accumulate more black pigment (carbon) in their lungs than people who don’t smoke. Black pigment can be seen only on an autopsy, not with an X-ray. Black areas on the lung seen via an X-ray image are not the areas of black pigmentation but are areas filled with air. Air in the lungs on an X-ray is represented with black color. Bronchitis is not diagnosed with X-ray image; it is diagnosed via auscultation. An X-ray image of the lungs is used for diagnosing the following conditions: pneumonia, lung tumor, bronchiectasies, emphysema, pleurisy, tuberculosis, etc.

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