What is the treatment of Dyspnea?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 06, 2013

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It may be possible to identify and treat the causes of dyspnea. Treatment may include the following:


Treatment to shrink or destroy the tumor

  • Radiation therapy: A cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer.


  • Hormone therapy: A cancer treatment that removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing. Hormones are substances produced by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream. The presence of some hormones can cause certain cancers to grow. If tests show that the cancer cells have places where hormones can attach (receptors), drugs, surgery, or radiation therapy are used to reduce the production of hormones or block them from working.


  • Chemotherapy: A cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas.


  • Laser therapy for tumors inside large airways: Use of a laser beam (a narrow beam of intense light) as a knife to remove the tumor.


  • Cauterization of tumors inside large airways: Use of a hot instrument, an electric current, or a caustic substance to destroy the tumor.


Stent placement


If a large airway is blocked by a tumor that is pressing on it from the outside, surgery may be done to place a stent (a thin tube) within the airway to keep it open.



  • Steroid drugs to reduce the inflammation and swelling of lymph vessels in the lungs.
  • Bronchodilators, medicines that are inhaled to open up the bronchioles (small airways) in the lungs.
  • Diuretics and other drugs for heart failure.
  • Antibiotics for chest infections. These may be combined with chest physical therapy.
  • Opioids, to treat moderate to severe pain.
  • Anticoagulants, for blood clots that are blocking blood vessels in the lungs.
  • Procedures to remove fluid that has built up around the lungs , around the heart , or in the abdominal cavity.
  • Blood transfusions for anemia


Management of Symptoms of Dyspnea

Management of the symptoms of dyspnea may include the following:


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