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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.



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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

Dealing With A Chronic Cough? 3 Common Causes

by Francisco Arnold

A cough that lingers for a long period of time will not only be uncomfortable — it can also affect your ability to sleep and perform normal everyday activities. Unfortunately, many people feel the cough will go away on its own without any medical intervention. However, this can be risky, since a chronic cough could stem from an underlying condition that should be addressed immediately. This guide will help you understand a few common causes of a chronic cough.


Asthma is a common condition, even though most people do not even realize they are suffering from it. Characterized by an inflammation of the respiratory system, asthma not only causes coughing and breathing difficulty. In many instances, it can be life-threatening.

Treating asthma is possible, but doctors will first need to determine what is causing your asthma. Many asthma patients have allergies, which affect their respiratory system and cause the inflammation that leads to asthma attacks. Avoiding these allergens is imperative for asthma patients.


Bronchitis is also a condition that can cause a chronic cough. This disorder usually stems from having a cold or the flu for a period of time. Bronchitis is inflammation of the upper airways, or the bronchial tubes. Most patients who have bronchitis will cough up a colored phlegm, which may be brown, yellow, or green in color.

If you are a smoker or a past smoker, you may develop chronic bronchitis that is not only uncomfortable but also life-threatening since the inflammation can prevent you from breathing properly.

Lung Cancer

It is important to note that a chronic cough does not only mean you have a serious condition. However, a cough that worsens over time and does not improve with medical intervention may be lung cancer.

Lung cancer has other symptoms, too, which include the following:

  • Coughing up blood, rust-colored phlegm, or spit
  • Severe chest pain that worsens when you breathe
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

If the cancer has spread from the lungs to other parts of the body, you may experience bone pain, headaches, dizziness, and jaundice.

Early intervention is essential if you are showing one or more signs of lung cancer. Therefore, if you have a chronic cough, visit a doctor like Edward S Pineles M.D immediately, even if you feel it is not a big concern.

From discomfort and insomnia to fatigue and breathing difficulty, a chronic cough should be taken seriously. This guide and your doctor will help you diagnose and treat your chronic cough.