What are the common complications of advanced lung cancer? How to deal with it?


The process of cancer treatment is like the process of “upgrading and fighting monsters”.

In addition to fighting against the “big monster” of cancer cells, through surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc., try to find ways to completely eliminate or control it, so as to prevent it from Doing evil everywhere.

In addition, on the road to fighting cancer, you have to deal with these “little monsters” at any time, don’t underestimate these “little monsters”, whether you deal with them well or not Not only will it affect the treatment effect and quality of life, but it will even directly determine the patient’s survival period.

So, on the road to fighting lung cancer, especially for patients with advanced lung cancer, what complications may they face?

1. Pain< /p>

Cancer pain is the enemy of many cancer patients, and lung cancer is no exception.

The location of the lungs is relatively complicated. The chest wall composed of pleura, muscle, ribs, and fat surrounds most of the lungs, and cancer cells can easily spread nearby. No matter where the cancer cells invade, it will cause severe pain.

About 65% of the causes of advanced lung cancer pain are related to tumors, and 25% are caused by treatment, such as trauma, surgery or invasive operations, blood drawing and other routine Nursing etc.

What to do:

Currently the main method of pain control is drug pain relief. The three-level pain relief plan formulated by the World Health Organization is currently recognized worldwide as a set of simple and effective methods for pain relief for cancer patients.

  • Mild pain: Non-opioid pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, antipyretic analgesics such as ibuprofen, aspirin .
  • Moderate pain: Use weak opioid analgesics plus adjuvant drugs, such as codeine, tramadol extended-release tablets.
  • Severe pain: Use strong opioid plus non-opioid pain relievers plus adjuvant drugs such as morphine, pethidine.

2. Hemoptysis

As the lung cancer tumor grows larger and surrounds blood vessels such as pulmonary arteriovenous and aortic veins, or involves small blood vessels, it may cause blood vessel rupture and bleeding, which may cause hemoptysis.

Hemoptysis is different from hematemesis or oral or nasopharyngeal bleeding. A 24-hour hemoptysis volume of less than 100 ml is a small amount of hemoptysis, 100-500 ml is a moderate amount of hemoptysis, and more than 500 ml or a hemoptysis volume of more than 100 ml is a large amount of hemoptysis.

Massive hemoptysis may lead to life-threatening conditions such as suffocation, hemorrhagic shock, etc..

How to deal with it:

When hemoptysis occurs, don’t panic, keep the patient absolutely in bed Rest and try to lie on the affected side to prevent blood or blood clots from blocking the contralateral bronchi or large airways. Encourage patients to cough up blood as much as possible to avoid airway obstruction and atelectasis.

Avoid hot, spicy and other irritating foods in the diet.


The choice of drugs is often based on the different hemostatic drugs The mechanism of action is to choose combined application of hemostatic drugs. At the same time, anti-infection treatment should be given according to whether there is co-infection, and symptomatic treatment such as volume expansion and fluid replacement should also be given according to bleeding volume, bleeding speed, and whether there is a decrease in effective circulating blood volume.

Active and effective anti-tumor therapy will improve the symptoms of hemoptysis, such as local radiotherapy, interventional embolization of bleeding vessels, etc.

3. Edema

Many advanced lung cancer patients will There is edema of the face and neck.

The reason for edema is that there is a superior vena cava on one side of the chest wall, which is the main channel for blood from the upper limbs and neck to return to the heart. Swollen oppression will block the blood circulation and the venous circulation will not be smooth, which will lead to edema of the face and neck.

A large area of ​​edema will make people extremely uncomfortable, and the sensory ability will be weakened, and even affect eating and sleeping.

How to deal with:

For patients with obvious edema, diuretics should be used to relieve edema in the short term, and antibiotics can be used in combination with patients with respiratory tract infection.

All patients with edema should be routinely treated with dexamethasone, and at the same time, the tumor itself should be treated and controlled, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

4. Infection

Development of advanced lung cancer cells It is rapid and consumes a lot of human body, causing most patients to become thin and have low immunity. Coupled with the combined effects of bone marrow suppression after chemotherapy, white blood cells are easily lower than normal.

Once the white blood cells are too low, the risk of infection is greatly increased. Common infection symptoms in patients with advanced lung cancer include pneumonia, urinary tract infection, etc.

What to do:

Infection prevention, on the one hand, is to enhance the patient’s own resistance through smoking cessation, nutritional intake, exercise, etc.; on the other hand, once infection symptoms appear, go to the hospital for corresponding treatment in time.

For patients with advanced lung cancer, minor illnesses for ordinary people are difficult for them. Close monitoring and timely treatment will allow the infection to be controlled in time.

5. Malignant pleural effusion

Malignant pleural effusion Effusion is one of the most common complications in patients with advanced lung cancer, which we call “pleural effusion”. More than half of lung cancer patients will have different degrees of pleural effusion.

The main reasons for pleural effusion are tumor invasion into the pleura, tumor compression of lymphatic vessels or hypoproteinemia disease etc.

The main symptoms of the patient were progressive dyspnea, chest pain and dry cough.

When the effusion volume is small or the formation speed is slow, the patient has mild dyspnea, only chest tightness, Shortness of breath, etc.; if the amount of effusion is large, the pressure on the lungs will be obvious, and the patient’s difficulty in breathing will increase, and even orthopnea and cyanosis may occur.

How to deal with it:

Malignant pleural effusion can be relieved by appropriate treatment . Such as chest drainage, chest drainage + drug infusion.

A thoracic drainage is a puncture through the back to which a drainage bag is attached. It is generally applied to patients with a large amount of pleural effusion, and can effectively relieve the compression symptoms of the patient’s chest cavity.

However, excessive extraction of pleural effusion will lead to a vicious cycle, which will lead to more and more pleural effusion, so it should be combined with other treatments. However, for patients with advanced lung cancer, the main treatment is to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life, and multiple pumping can be performed.

For some malignant pleural effusions, especially those where cancer cells have been detected For a pleural effusion, your doctor may give you an infusion of medicines after you have pumped the fluid.

General drugs include carboplatin, cisplatin, interleukin, endostar and bevacizumab. Patients with empyema can also be reinfused with some antibiotics when necessary.

In addition, patients with advanced lung cancer may also face complications such as spinal cord injury, gastrointestinal reactions, pathological fractures, dysphagia, and shortness of breath. In response, timely and appropriate interventions should be made in order to improve the quality of life of patients as much as possible.

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