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My dad is schedule to begin his radiation next week. I'm hurting so badly watching him cough so much and try to get his breath. He has oxygen and nebulizer treatments, but nothing seems to be helping. He was also just given an inhaler and advair that he hasn't tried yet. Is anyone on anything else or doing anything that helps with the breathing? They say it is the location of the tumor that is causing the shortness of breath. We're praying that after radiation starts and the tumor begins to shrink he will see improvement. Does anyone have any idea of how many radiation treatments it will take before he starts to have some releif?

thank you for any information you have.

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I don't have any information about radiation, but being SOB can be very frightening. Anxiety can then cause worsening of the SOB. Consider asking the onc for a Rx for an antianxiety medicine.

So sorry your dad is going through this. I know how difficult it is to watch this! My mom was very SOB at diagnosis, and chemo greatly relieved it after the first round (six weeks), but she had no radiation, so I can't shed any light on that.

Best wishes to you,


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We are going through this again right now. He could have a chest infection as well. My family doctor says the tumours in my husbands lungs are positioned to cause the breathing problem and as to why Gerald is short of breath and on oxygen...however - he has had to take antibiotics a few times now to get rid of that. Other possibility could be whatever type of chemo he is on could affect his breathing.

Not alot of help but a suggestion to get checked for infection. Heather

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In some cases, just a few days of radiation can have an impact and improve lung funciton. In many others, it's a gradual process that has an appreciable impact over a few weeks. In some cases, there isn't improvement even after completion of the full radiation course. I wish I could say what to expect, but it's quite variable. I can say that improvement over a matter of days or a week or so is possible.

-Dr. West

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dr. West, thank you for your reply and for being here. My dad has just finished week 2 (so half way) of his radiation treatments and he says he's not feeling any better. He's starting to get discouraged and wants to give up. So far he's not feeling any worse. I've heard that the side effects don't really catch up to you for a few weeks. I'm praying that soon he starts to feel better and not worse.

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