Long-term lung cancer survivors’ breathlessness woes

August 3rd, 2010 - 5:00 pm ICT by ANI  

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Washington, Aug 3 (ANI): Scientists have found that most of
the lung cancer survivors suffer from dyspnea or shortness of breath.

Study author Marc B. Feinstein described the prevalence and
severity of dyspnea in long-term lung cancer survivors and provided specific
factors associated with the condition that may help clinicians target
post-treatment rehabilitation strategies.

Feinstein and fellow researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School surveyed 342
early-stage lung cancer survivors, who had their tumor removed within one to
six years of the survey.

Within this population of cancer survivors, dypsnea was
found in 205 individuals (60 percent), nearly three-fold the number of patients
who presented with dyspnea before their surgery (21 percent).

Additional findings showed that factors associated with
long-term dyspnea in cancer survivors included presence of dyspnea before lung
cancer surgery, reduced diffusion capacity (lung’s ability to transfer oxygen
into the blood) and lack of physical activity.

“The identification of potentially modifiable risk
factors associated with dyspnea is perhaps the most significant finding,”
said Feinstein.

“This implies that strategies which improve physical
activity or relieve depressive symptoms may results in improved
breathlessness,” he added.

The findings were published in the Journal of
Thoracic Oncology. (ANI)

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