Suggest remedy for breathlessness post lung cancer remission

Posted on Wed, 2 Dec 2015 in Elderly Problems
Question: i ask on behalf of my wife, age 83. She has ha lung cancer five years ago and now remitted, but has a lower right lung collapsed as a result of drawing out liquid from lung, She now depends totally on her walker to get about and gets breathless after a short walk to the bathroom. She sits 90% of the time. Pulse is low between 45 and 69 fluctuating and always irregular. Oxymeter shows about 94. She takes Coumodin 1 gram daily. Eats sparingly. Weight 127 lbs. steady. Problem worrying her also is that several days ago her right toe became inflamed. pink, purple , itchy----gone in several days--uric acid ? or something else? What can we do to induce some stamina--so she can move around more . She goes to a doctor, but I think that since she is elderly he justifies with ---what else can you expect ? Please touch on each detail. What can be done to improve her quality of life ??? XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Hanif 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Breathing exercises can be beneficial !!!

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the consultation at my virtual clinic!
I have carefully worked through your case, and can well realize health worries related to your wife. Being her physician, I will take care all of her medical concerns today and will put my best efforts to get her out of this situation.

For her it is appreciable she survived lung cancer with courage and now it is in remittance.

Well, her problem is chronic and Atelectasis (collapse of the part of lung) like this is very rarely reversible to the full. But we may definitely try and improve the situation through breathing exercises.

Ask her to blow air out with pressure with loosely pursed lips and then with tightly pursed lips. Pursed Lips Breathing (PLB) also called Abdominal breathing OR Diaphragmatic breathing and is very helpful for patients like your wife. She will get help for her shortness of breath (SOB) and this is SOB which is causing her low stamina. She has to do PLB for almost 6-7 times a day in the start. It takes some weeks for obvious effects to appear.

Another technique for helping in ease for SOB is blowing the balloons. It is also very helpful for getting better respiration that is deep enough and takes air to the end zones of the lungs in lower lobes.

If she feels, nothing is working anymore for her, take her to a Respiratory Therapist for more personalized help.
Hope I answered all of your questions. Let me know if you have further clinical concerns or doubts. I will be more than happy to get back to you with expert opinion. Please don't forget to give Five Star rating to help me assist my patients in a better way; and, please don't forget to 'Close This Discussion'.
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Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Hanif

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 2369 Questions


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