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Lung Cancer and Airplane Flying


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Hi All,

Dad is planning a small trip from Virginia to NY next weekend. They made flight plans and now are nervous about flying with the lung cancer and cough. Has anyone had a bad experience with this or know of anything we should be aware of? Any thoughts would be appreciated!


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I remember someone asking Dr. West that over on onctalk, and I mainly remember because it was early in my sister's diagnosis and it was one of the first things to really make me laugh. The person asked him if Stage 4 NSCLC patients could fly and he responded, with the aid of an airplane they can. :) You could go over there and check for the thread but the gist was that in most circumstances he would encourage people to get out and travel and live. It gets more complicated with the need for oxygen, though that doesn't preclude it at all. I would add that given that LC patients are more prone to DVTs and sitting still for long periods are also related to DVTs that LC patients should be especially cognizant of moving around, pumping the blood back up from the legs (which they can do without getting out of their seats). (Not that it is a huge increased risk, just a 'better safe than sorry' sort of thing).

We celebrated the end of my sister's chemo/radiation by flying to florida, Kelly and her husband for a week and our other sister and I joined them for 4 days.

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A pneumothorax (trapped pockets of air in the pleural space) could be dangerous, because in the event of pressurization loss they might expand to the point of collapsing the lung. I had this for several months following my thoracotomy, but now with just a small loculated pleural effusion I'm considered good to go.



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Tammy, Since my recurrence in sept. I went 3 times to Texas, 1 to Spain &1 to Argentina & 1 to California. Only one time the dc. make me change the ticket because I had radiation neumanitis. Some people were the mask not to get infactions or oxigen if he need it.BUT TELL HIM TO ENJOY THE FLY!!!!!!

Prayers &hugs

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