'I Thought I Had The Flu!' Man Misread His Symptoms Only To Later Learn He Had Lung Cancer

Date April 9, 2018

Many medical experts have warned us to stop self-diagnosing as it's very easy for us to mix up our symptoms. Usually, when a condition, no matter how mild, begins to drag on for too long, it's important to see a doctor to be sure there's nothing more serious going on.

57-year-old Tony Walsh had a persistent cough for weeks. He assumed he was just battling the flu and continued to take appropriate action in the hope that the symptoms would disappear.

However, it later turned out that Tony had lung cancer. Due to his experience, he's now urging people to see a doctor if they have been experiencing a cough that will not go away.

Tony considers himself pretty lucky because the way he handled the situation could have cost him his life. He said he continued to put off seeing a doctor for a very long time as he thought he had everything under control.

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However, when it seemed like his cough was not going to go away away after a few weeks, he decided to see a doctor. He was shocked to learn the diagnosis - lung cancer on the bottom of the right lung.

I felt like I had the flu. It wasn't going away and I had a cough. I don't go to the doctor too often.

Tony said he never for a moment thought he could get cancer. Luckily for him, he went in just in time and his life was saved. Doctors took out his right lung completely, which greatly affected his life as a busy construction contractor.

He had to build up his stamina and the capacity of his left lung by taking regular walks. It was a gradual process but Tony soon began to feel himself getting stronger.

It's funny how the body works. My left lung is beginning to expand. I would love to get back to the things I did like playing football but I know I won't be fit to do that again and I wouldn't be able to take on the stress or pressure of working for myself again.

He's very grateful he decided to get checked out. "If I hadn't gone to the doctor I'd be dead at this stage," he said. His story also inspired others to share theirs.

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Know the symptoms

Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, Kevin O' Hagan, shared some of the most important symptoms of lung cancer you must never ignore.

  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or a cough that won't go away.
  • Chest infection that does not go away after taking antibiotics.
  • Coughing up blood, hoarse voice, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and swelling around the face.

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms could point at other health issues also. The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor. Early detection makes survival much more likely.

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.