Coping with Shortness of Breath (Dyspnoea) in Childhood Cancer


DyspnoeaSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Dyspnoea is a feeling of breathlessness that can be experienced by many people with advanced cancer or those with earlier-stage cancers who have other conditions that affect the heart or lungs. Distinct sensations include effort/work, chest tightness, and air hunger (the feeling of not enough oxygen).

Dyspnoea is a normal symptom of heavy exertion but becomes pathological if it occurs in unexpected situations. In 85% of cases it is due to asthma, pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, interstitial lung disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or psychogenic causes such as panic disorder and anxiety.

An individual with a potentially life-threatening blood clot or other emergency, for example, may experience Dyspnoea. It is important to inform your child’s doctor immediately should your child experience any symptoms of Dyspnoea.

While shortness of breath is generally caused by disorders of the Cardiac or Respiratory system, other systems such as Neurological, Musculoskeletal, Endocrine, Hematologic, and Psychiatric may be the cause.

The most common cardiovascular causes are acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure while common pulmonary causes include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Asthma, Pneumothorax, Pulmonary Oedema and Pneumonia.

Dyspnoea may also be caused by a tumour or by other conditions related to cancer, and many of these causes are treatable.

 

Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Dyspnoea on our static page, Shortness of Breath (Dyspnoea) in Childhood Cancer

 

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 8 July, 2016, in Blog, Cancer Treatments and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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