Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Chest Pain Forum

Varying intensity chest pain--possible causes?

Hi, to start off with--I consider myself something of a hypochondriac so, naturally, I've all but convinced myself that I have lung cancer. Of course, the fact that I am 175 lbs and fighting hard to lose any weight at all, as well no degradation in the past two years in terms of fitness or speed over 3.5 miles in my near-daily running regime would make that seem unlikely. But, well, try telling my brain that...

So, history: I'm 34 and a former smoker. I gave up 5 years ago, started again last year, and have since (last 4 weeks) given up again. I'm a smoker of the other stuff, too (though only for the last six months after a 5 year layoff also), but now use a vaporizer for those situations, which are most nights of the week but in very small quantities (7gm lasts me a month). I exercise 4 times a week, normally running 3.5 miles with a once weekly 5 mile run. I have no difficulty accomplishing these at a fairly respectable 7.5 mph.

I have, over the past couple of weeks started to develop some pretty nasty chest pains. They come and go and, while localized to a large degree (upper right and lower right of chest, occasional pangs on the lower left side), on occasion cover all of the right-hand side of what I presume to be my lungs. I have in the past 48 hours noticed an additional shortness of breath/heaviness in the chest that made the last run I did more strenuous than normal, with a longer recovery time than I'm used to. This pain is accompanied by some other aches and pains in my abdomen that may or may not be related (I'm not even sure that I'm not panicking myself into phantom pain). I also have a long-standing reflux problem that doesn't make things any better. I am, at present, somewhat fatigued and feel generally under the weather.

I have no cough to speak of, which is to say that I coughed a couple of times this morning but at no point since, and that seemed largely to be as a result of an excess of mucus that appears to be developing. There's no blood in anything I coughed up, but I have noticed a slight yellowing of the mucus along with (with the first cough) some dark-brown spotting, which I take to be my lungs clearing out after my recent end to smoking.

I'm wondering if the recent cessation of my smoking habit (which was, this time around, very rarely more than three a day) has led to a chest infection/bad cold/bronchitis as my body tries to repair itself?

Like I said, given the way I am mentally, I'm sure I'm one step from death, so any input on the issue is very much appreciated!


Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 24th, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your health query on E health Forum.

From the history provided it does not indicate the presence of any form of lung cancer.

For proper diagnosis of your condition additional imaging studies like a chest X ray and a CT scan might be helpful.

You might consult your doctor for an examination and the necessary tests.

I hope this helps.

Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
What is pneumonia? Learn basic facts about pneumonia here, plus how doctors define the different types of pneumonia that people can get....
Some people are more at risk of getting pneumonia than others. Are you one of them? Learn more about how you get pneumonia and who is at risk here....
Chest pain is typical during cases of pneumonia. But what other signs and symptoms should you look for? Know when to seek medical help by starting here....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Chest Pain , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.