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
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 >
The main cause of lung cancer is smoking although exposure to second-hand smoke, asbestos and radon can also cause lung cancer, according to WebMD. Up to 90 percent of the lung cancer cases are caused by smoking, and the longer and heavier someone smokes, the greater his risk of developing lung cancer in his lifetime.Full Answer >
Lung cancer is diagnosed by performing tests such as CT scans, PET scans and bone scans. Further testing is done to determine if the condition is actually lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. These tests include: bronchoscopy, endobronchial ultrasound, fine needle biopsy and endoscopic esophageal ultrasound.Full Answer >
In stage IV lung cancer, the disease spreads to another part of the body, according to CancerCare. This stage includes growth of cancer cells in another lung or areas around the lungs or other organs in the body. Stage IV is the last stage in non-small cell lung cancer.Full Answer >