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Question on Oxygen...


Kristi

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Hi everyone! Another question for those of you who've been there. When my Dad was in the hospital he was on oxygen and it seemed to REALLY help him. He's horribly short of breath these days. Mom says he's fine if he just sitting but once he starts moving around can hardly breathe. Should they request an oxygen tank for him to carry with him? I'm thinking "of course" but his doctors haven't recommended it yet so it makes me wonder. Is it common practice to give oxygen for shortness of breath associated with lung cancer? Also, is the cancer causing this or the treatments?

Thank you!

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Hi Kristi. It is most likely the treatment that is causing the SOB. Tom had basically the same treatment as your dad. Tom had taxol/carboplatin with radiation. He has had no treatment since July of last year. The first scan after treatment was done the doctor told him I have good news. We killed the cancer but we fried your lung.

Radiation while good for killing the cancer causes inflammation in the lungs and it takes some time to get back to some normalcy. Tom was pretty short of breath during and after treatment and is on oxygen now. He did not go on it though until a bout with pneumonia back in December.

Tom came home on oxygen and remains on it because of a new deal with bronchiastasis which is part of the whole COPD thing which he had before the cancer.

His pulmonologist is the one who oversee's the oxygen. They did what they called an "oxygen titration" test. They check your levels while sitting, standing, walking etc and will let you know if he requires supplemental

O2.

Tom has a concentrator for home and tanks with a cart for the car. He is 73 yrs old and 15 months out from diagnosis and although he is on O2 24/7 he still takes himself everywhere he needs to go.

Sorry this got so lengthy but it's something to check into.

Take care,

Denise

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Hi Kristi,

I'm on oxygen and it makes a big difference. As mentioned by Denise have your father tested. Even if the doctors did not mention it we (patients, caregivers) have to be pro-active. I also have a concentrator (can get the tubbing up to about 40 feet, just need to be careful when walking not to trip over it :) ) for home and use the portable (when out) tanks and carry it (not that heavy) over my shoulder. I have the small (about 12 inches) tanks and use a pulse (one tank last about 3 or 4 hours) regulator (not sure that is the correct name) which releases the gas only when you inhale and cuts it off when you exhale and is not running continuously. The tanks don't last as long running continuously depending on the setting. They had to test me for that also to see if I could go that route. Just a side note my understanding is one has to use it at least 15 hours a day to be effective and of course caution the do's and dont's etc. Like anything else one gets used to it.

Hope this helps,

Rich

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Hi Kristi,

Oh yes, oxygen is very helpful. My mom had a machine at home and a portable for doctor's appointment. Plus she used a nebubilzer which she did 4x a day which she used albuterol at home too. This may help with the breathing. My mom saw a pulmonary doctor who presribed all of the above.

Hope things get better!

Marci

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