According to the National Cancer Institute, during the final stages of lung cancer, a patient suffers myoclonus, dyspnea, fatigue, cough, rattle, delirium and fever. A study of 200 cancer patients revealed that noisy breathing, pain and urinary dysfunction were the most frequent symptoms during the last 48 hours of life.Know More
Patients can acquire pain relief during their final hours, notes the National Cancer Institute. As consciousness tends to decline during this period and swallowing becomes difficult, alternatives to oral opioid administration are used, including intravenous infusions and intermittent subcutaneous injections. Myoclonic jerking frequently occurs at the end of life, and very high opioid doses can lead to myoclonus. Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, is a usual symptom in cancer patients during the final days or weeks of life. It happens when a patient requires more respiratory effort to overcome a restrictive disease, needs more respiratory muscles to maintain sufficient breathing or shows an increase in ventilatory need.
Physical and psychological changes and adverse effect of treatments are factors that contribute to fatigue, reports the National Cancer Institute. Some patients also experience chronic coughing, which causes pain, interferes with sleep, aggravates dyspnea and worsens fatigue. Death rattle happens when saliva and other fluids build up in the upper airways. Terminally ill patients tend to experience frequent fevers and infections.Learn more in Cancer
Most types of cancer are classed as belonging to stages 0, I, II, III or IV. The stage assigned to the cancer refers to the extent of its spread at the time of diagnosis. According to Cancer.Net, which stage a cancer is at determines the recommended course of treatment and the likely prognosis for the patient.Full Answer >
Although smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer, 90 percent of all lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, according to WebMD. In nonsmokers, lung cancer can be caused by exposure to radon gas, secondhand smoke, asbestos, air pollution and gene mutations, according to the American Cancer Society.Full Answer >
According to Cancer.org, the ability to treat or cure lung cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and numerous other factors. Treatment options vary according to the severity of the cancer.Full Answer >
Although no definite way exists to prevent lung cancer, avoiding risk factors such as smoking, exposure to high levels of radon and exposure to carcinogens can help reduce the chance of developing lung cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can also help.Full Answer >