Managing Side Effects: Cough During Stage 4 Lung Cancer


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Cough is one of the most common concerns for lung cancer patients. Persistent cough estimates range from 47% to 86% among patients. Coughing expels chemical irritants and foreign bodies out of the airways. In lung cancer, coughing occurs by the tumor tissue stimulating receptors or by inflammatory response of body that stimulates the nerves in the airways. Coughing is a very common symptom of lung cancer and as the stage increases; the severity of cough also rises. It is important to control cough so as to improve the quality of life.

Causes behind Cough

Coughing is caused by a number of reasons such as:

  • Tumor blocking the bronchus of lung
  • Inflammation of lung caused by radiation therapy
  • Lung infection
  • Other lung problems like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What Should You Do To Stop Coughing?

Analyzing Your Cough

You should describe your cough the best you can to your doctor. Think about things like is it dry cough or chronic or how long you have had your cough. You should also analyze whether you have been losing weight suddenly. Any changes in coughing since the cancer is diagnosed are also evaluated. The healthcare team analyzes the situation of the lung cancer patient and accordingly suggests the best treatment.

Treatment Options

Endobronchial therapies involve treating the blockage in the airway so that cough can be controlled. Healthcare professionals may also use antibiotics to treat function. Potential treatments also include oral corticosteroids, bronchodilators etc. where infection is present.

Doctors recommend deep breathing exercises to help them in easy breathing. This also helps in controlling cough. Right exercises relax the body and work to improve your health.

You must quit smoking and also avoid environmental exposure to irritants.

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have any unusual health problems, contact your healthcare professional immediately.

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