Coughing up blood has a number of possible causes. While it could be lung cancer, it may also be a different serious or life-threatening condition or illness. Therefore, this symptom needs immediate evaluation, especially if a person coughs up large amounts of blood or also complains of shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or chest pain. The medical term for coughing up blood is hemoptysis; typically, the expectoration is bright red blood mixed with mucus. A chest x-ray may help to identify the cause, although more advanced imaging studies may be necessary.
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