Dyspnea - Get information and read articles on Dyspnea signs, symptoms, causes, treatment, prevention and diagnosis at onlymyhealth.com, your complete health guide.
Patients may use different words to describe the feeling of breathlessness; terms such as "tightness in the chest" and "suffocating" are sometimes used. The distress caused by dyspnea is different for each patient, from mild discomfort in one patient to severe discomfort in another.
Many conditions may cause dyspnea and coughing. In cancer patients, causes may include the following: direct effects of the tumor; indirect effects of the tumor; pneumonia; paralysis of part of the diaphragm; treatment-related effects; scarring of the lung by radiation therapy or chemotherapy; weakening of the heart muscle by chemotherapy.
It may be possible to identify and treat the causes of dyspnea. Treatment may include: treatment to shrink or destroy the tumor (radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, laser therapy, cauterization of tumors inside large airways, stent placement.
A diagnosis of the cause of the patient's dyspnea and coughing is helpful in planning treatment. Diagnostic tests and procedures may include physical exam and history; punctional assessment; chest x-ray; CT scan; complete blood count; oxygen saturation test; maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) test.