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Lung diseases

Difficulty breathing comes and goes



For the past month, I have been having difficulty breathing that comes and goes. The sensation varies. Sometimes it feels as if I cannot get enough air in, other times, it feels as if my chest is too tight, other times it feels like shortness of breath. This comes and goes - sometimes I feel fine, and I`ll have a difficulty episode for a short period of time. Other times, it lasts all day. When I exercise (jogging), I don`t seem to have any regular problems breathing. What could this be? Could it be lung cancer?


Intermittent shortness of breath that is not associated with exercise is not typical for lung cancer. However, lung cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. But other causes related to the lungs (or heart) are more likely. It would be reasonable to be evaluated by your primary care physician. Alternatively, a pulmonologist may offer expertise in this area.

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Response by:

Michael F Reed, MD Michael F Reed, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati