Tuesday, 8 January 2013

How to Treat Lung Cancer Symptoms


    • 1
      Start chemotherapy. Many physicians will recommend chemotherapy to relieve symptoms of lung cancer. Chemotherapy is a combination of drugs, aimed at killing the cancer cells. As the cells die off and the tumor shrinks, symptoms are often relieved. For example, a tumor in the lungs may be making it difficult to breathe. As the tumor shrinks from the chemotherapy, it may make breathing easier.
    • 2
      Undergo radiation therapy. Radiation works by destroying the cancer cells or by stopping them from growing. It may be used with or without chemotherapy. Similar to chemotherapy, as the tumor shrinks, symptoms are relieved.
    • 3
      Get a bronchodilator. Airway constriction and wheezing are common symptoms of lung cancer. Medications which are considered bronchodilators work by opening up the airways and help make breathing easier. They are usually administered via a nebulizer and the medication is inhaled. A bronchodilator may also help reduce shortness of breath, which is a common symptom of lung cancer.
    • 4
      Breathe in nebulized morphine. As lung cancer progresses, patients may feel like they are starved for air and are suffocating. Morphine can be given in a breathing treatment through a nebulizer. This helps reduce both pain in the chest and feelings of suffocation.
    • 5
      Consider supplemental oxygen. As a result of the tumor taking up space in their lungs, people with lung cancer may have low oxygen levels in their blood. Various types of oxygen devices, including oxygen masks and nasal cannulas hooked up to an oxygen tank, can deliver oxygen to the body.
    • 6
      Consent to a thorocentisis. Some people with lung cancer will develop a plural effusion as a symptom of their disease. This is an accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung and the chest wall. It can cause breathing problems. A thorocentisis involves inserting a needle into the plural space and draining the fluid, which relieves the symptoms.

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