Coughing up blood or blood with mucus, due to cancer and other diseases?

Coughing up blood or blood with mucus, due to cancer and other diseases?
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Coughing up blood, coughing up blood with mucus when coughing, coughing up small or large amounts of blood can be a sign of a serious illness. This symptom requires a professional examination.

Coughing up blood is technically referred to in Latin as haemoptysis. It refers to the coughing up of bright, fresh blood that comes from the throat, but also from the trachea and bronchi to the small alveoli, i.e. the lungs.

This is a manifestation of a disease that can have a variety of causes, from the most dreaded cancer to inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract.

Another group consists, for example, of injuries.

Coughing up blood can be in various forms. Blood can be fresh, foamy and pink, dark with lumps of clotted blood or with mucus or phlegm with traces of blood.

And it can be of varying intensity:
Haemoptysis = coughing up blood.
Haemoptoe = massive haemoptysis, spurting of blood.
Then the amount of blood coughed up can exceed 500 ml per day.

In this case, it's a life-threatening condition.

It is necessary to distinguish between spitting blood, which can be present, for example, in nosebleeds (epistaxis), and coughing up blood. It can also happen that blood is present during coughing, this is referred to as pseudohemoptysis. The cause is mainly blood flowing into the nasopharynx and throat.

Vomiting blood can also be a sign of a serious threat to health and life. When vomiting occurs, there is usually also indigestion, nausea or abdominal pain. And blood from the digestive tract is usually darker, even black.

What are the causes of coughing up blood, you ask?
Why am I coughing up blood from my mouth?
I am coughing up phlegm with blood from my lungs.
Does it just mean cancer or could it be another disease?

What are the most common causes behind coughing up blood?

Bloody sputum (phlegm), small amount of coughed up blood on a tissue, pink foam when coughing or larger amount of blood when coughing.

These and other variations can have a variety of causes. In the first place, one imagines respiratory disease, however, this is only part of a larger variety.

The table lists possible sources of bleeding

Origin Description
  • tumour cause accounts for 15-20% of cases
  • Lung cancer or metastases to the lungs - as secondary foci of tumour growth
  • Coughing up blood preceded by other difficulties such as:
    • prolonged coughing
    • dry cough
    • shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, especially on exertion
    • shortness of breath
    • fatigue
    • weight loss
  • nosebleeds
  • trauma, penetrating lung injury
  • blunt chest trauma
  • foreign body in the airway - inhalation (aspiration), often happens in young children
  • tumours and burst blood vessels in the throat, nose or larynx
Medicines and drugs
  • Anticoagulant treatment - anti-clotting drugs, warfarin, heparin and others
  • easy bruising
  • often blood in the urine or in the digestive tract with stool, but also nosebleeds
  • cocaine
Iatrogenic damage
  • after puncture or biopsy
  • after bronchoscopy
Other diseases + approximately 20% of cases have no known cause

Read also: Coughing up blood is a symptom not to be underestimated

Very often especially respiratory diseases

As can be seen in the table, it is respiratory diseases that have the first place. Both upper and lower respiratory tract are affected. These are mostly long-term (chronic) diseases.

Many cases may have an infectious cause. Tuberculosis, which is one of the highly infectious diseases, is also dangerous nowadays.

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes with dry irritating cough, constant coughing to persistent urging to cough can be behind the congestion of the lining of the airways, which is additionally affected by inflammation. The result will be the presence of blood when coughing.

Prolonged coughing up of mucus in which traces of blood may also be present.

Inhalation of gas, irritants - intoxication

Even in the home, we may encounter a variety of chemicals. Under normal circumstances, we use them for cleaning. However, the wrong combination can cause a chemical reaction that produces poisonous compounds and fumes.

For example, chlorine or ammonia are risky.

Mixing chlorine, Cl, NH3 and acid-based cleaning agents is dangerous and risks intoxication.

Symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • difficulty breathing, dyspnoea
  • choking
  • feeling like vomiting
  • stinging eyes and nose
  • tearing
  • drooling
  • muscle weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • hoarseness of voice
  • wheezing when breathing
  • to pulmonary oedema

Intoxication can be mild, moderate to severe life-threatening with possible permanent consequences.

Yes, it can be cancer.

Lung cancer can take a primary form. This dangerous cancer has several causes. Long-term smoking is cited as the main one.

The initial signs may not be serious at all. Blood in the cough is already present in the advanced form.

It is one of the most common oncological diseases in men.

Secondary tumors to the lungs arise by metastasizing to this organ. Examples are mainly colon, testicular, breast cancer, melanoma.

Read also the article.

Asbestos is also dangerous and toxic to the human body. The mechanism of lung damage is based on tiny particles that enter the lungs when handled. Like sharp needles, they irritate and destroy lung tissue.

Asbestos is a carcinogen.

Another type of cancer causing coughing up blood is...

Cancers in an area that falls under the management of a doctor with ENT specialization are also an example. An example is, among others, laryngeal cancer, which may have its basis in HPV infection, which is the human papillomavirus. This is responsible for a larger number of diseases (cervical cancer) and is also transmitted through sexual contact.

Read also the articles:

Coughing up blood in children?

In children, any situation associated with a deterioration in health is taken seriously. Also in this case, of course, it is true that a professional examination is necessary.

In the case of coughing up blood in children, it may be:

  • respiratory tract infections
  • nosebleeds - epistaxis
  • injury to the mucous membrane in the mouth
  • a foreign body in the nose or airways
  • smoking nicotine or marijuana
  • inhaling a chemical substance
  • cystic fibrosis
  • tuberculosis
  • and other and other unexplained causes

What to do when coughing up blood? Is it blood from the lungs or...

In the first place, it is important to distinguish whether it is blood from the mouth, nose, lower respiratory system or digestive tube. Subsequently, it is necessary to observe the associated difficulties.

For example, as with coughing up blood in influenza or similar diseases:

  • coughing up blood during flu is really rare.
  • arises as a result of irritation of the throat
  • as a result of a persistent cough, small tears form in the throat
  • this condition is only occasional
  • otherwise medical attention should be sought immediately
  • in tracheobronchitis there may be mucus with a small amount of blood mostly in the morning

Followed by a professional examination...

As a result of irritation of the gums or brushing the teeth too hard, it is spitting blood and not blood when coughing.

Acute conditions of coughing up blood associated with shortness of breath, chest pain, increased heart rate, sweating, pallor, cyanosis and disturbances of consciousness should be treated immediately. Call the emergency services.

The affected person should be seated, reassured, clothing around the neck and waist loosened, and the air in the room ventilated if necessary.

Chronic problems, and therefore prolonged persistent coughing that may occur with blood, should also be addressed by professional examination.

Lung cancer - one of the serious diseases that can manifest itself by coughing up blood

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The aim of the portal and content is not to replace professional examination. The content is for informational and non-binding purposes only, not advisory. In case of health problems, we recommend seeking professional help, visiting or contacting a doctor or pharmacist.