Friday, September 22, 2023

Pneumonia And Lung Cancer Symptoms

Fluid In The Lungs From Pneumonia

Lung Cancer: Can it Cause Pneumonia?

Fluid accumulation in your chest is a known complication of pneumonia. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with pneumonia associated with fluid in the lungs, you can read all about it here. I have personally treated several patients over the last 15 years with fluid in the lungs from pneumonia.

Based on my personal experience as well as a review of the current medical literature, I will explain what it means when you have fluid in the lungs from pneumonia, who is at risk, and what options you have to get rid of that fluid.

Pneumonia And Lung Cancer Types

There are several different types of pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumonia can be caused by different types of bacteria, including streptococcal pneumonia , chlamydophila pneumonia, and H. influenza type B pneumonia .

The common signs and symptoms of bacterial pneumonia include high fever, cough with phlegm, chills, chest pain when breathing or coughing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite.

Bacterial pneumonia is very contagious, so getting on an antibiotic treatment right away can reduce your contagiousness.

Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia that presents symptoms similar to a cold. Those symptoms include low-grade fever, persistent dry cough, fatigue and tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and loss of appetite. Walking pneumonia is less severe than full-blown pneumonia, yet it can still be passed on through droplet transmission. Steering clear of others can help reduce transmission of the infection, along with covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Viral pneumonia is caused by a virus and commonly affects children. Viral pneumonia may clear up within three weeks, but does increase the risk of bacterial pneumonia. Symptoms of viral pneumonia are similar to the flu with fever, aches, and cough. Symptoms may worsen within the first two days, then proceed to improve. Viral pneumonia is highly contagious and can actually spread quicker than bacterial or fungal pneumonia.

Lung Cancer Often Misdiagnosed As Pneumonia Urges Requests For Second Medical Opinions

ByShaniqua Williams

Often, people with recurrent bouts of pneumonia tend to have unidentified lung cancer that can progress to advanced stages without appropriate treatment. Persistent chest infections can be signs of something more serious than pneumonia, and unfortunately, it may sometimes take a few months for the doctors to diagnose properly.

Lung cancer is attributed to various external factors including exposure to asbestos, radon gas, and cigarette smoking. However, asbestos-related lung cancer is specifically caused by the asbestos fibers embedded in the lungs and scarring the lungs for 10-20 years after the exposure occurred. Oftentimes, asbestos-caused lung cancer is misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to conditions such as pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Anyone who worked in an industrial setting should get tested regardless of how minor their lung-related symptoms might be early diagnosis ensures effective treatments and better prognosis.

Don’t Miss: Does Pneumonia Go Away By Itself

Lung Cancer Treatments And Pneumonia

The development of infections isnt just determined by the underlying disease. Pneumonia as well as other lower respiratory infections, like bronchitis can also occur as the result of certain tests, treatments, medications, and surgeries. These infections commonly develop after cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy .

Chemo, in particular, is the most common cause of immunodeficiency in people undergoing cancer treatments. WBCs are immune cells that play an important role in helping our bodies fight off infections. Chemotherapy can decrease the number of a particular type of WBCs in the body. This condition can decrease a persons ability to fight off infections like pneumonia.

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is another common cause of a decrease in WBC counts and a weakened immune system. A low WBC count is one of the most serious side effects of chemotherapy and radiology.

Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer

Stage 4 Lung Cancer And Pneumonia

The second most-common type of lung cancer after NSCLC is small cell lung cancer . SCLC is not typically grouped into numbered stages. Instead, its identified as limited stage or extensive stage.

  • With limited-stage SCLC, the cancer is present in one lung and may have spread to lymph nodes near that lung, but its contained to one side of the chest. If the lung has multiple tumors, the cancer may not be in the limited stage.
  • Extensive-stage SCLC is similar to stage 4 NSCLC in that it is metastatic. SCLC is considered extensive if it has spread throughout the original lung, into the other lung or faraway lymph nodes, or to any other areas of the body.

Read Also: Why Does Pneumonia Cause Diarrhea

What Should I Expect In The Last Few Days

As the end of life approaches, you might experience a number of physical and emotional changes. These are different for everyone. You might notice changes over weeks, days or even hours. Some of the changes might be the same as signs of a flare-up, so discuss them with your doctor or nurse.

Signs to look out for include:

Symptoms In Women And Men

Generally speaking, the signs and symptoms for lung cancer are similar for men and women and may vary depending on where in the body the cancer forms.

For example, squamous cell carcinoma forms on the lining of the lungs. Signs of this type of cancer include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling in the face and neck veins

In addition to the symptoms above, adenocarcinoma, which typically forms in the outer areas of the lung, may also cause back pain, especially in women.

Also Check: How Often Do I Need The Pneumonia Vaccine

Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children

Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:

  • Drinking more fluids.
  • Getting more rest.
  • Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
  • Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.

Chemotherapy And Targeted Therapies

âYour lungs are filled with double pneumoniaâ: Breast exam leads to San Antonio womanâs COVID-19…

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs that are designed to kill rapidly growing cells, such as cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be injected directly into a vein or given through a catheter, which is a thin tube placed into a large vein and kept there until it is no longer needed. Some chemotherapy drugs are taken orally in pill form.

Targeted agents are a newer class of drugs that are designed to act against specific weaknesses in cancer cells or surrounding supportive tissues, such as blood vessels. These drugs can also be taken orally or by IV. They are most effective in cancers with specific changes in their genes or cell receptors.

In early stages of non-small cell cancer, chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with surgery to improve survival rates. In more advanced stages of non-small cell cancer and in all stages of small cell cancer, chemotherapy and targeted therapies may be used to relieve symptoms and extend life.

Chemotherapy affects both normal cells and cancer cells. Your doctors will try to prevent side effects as much as possible while treating the cancer appropriately. Side effects depend largely on the specific type of drug and the amount given. They can be different for each person and may be only temporary. Common side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and vomiting, hair loss, mouth sores and/ or fatigue. Your healthcare providers can suggest ways to make any side effects manageable and to help improve symptoms that may occur during and after procedures.

You May Like: How Do I Know That I Have Pneumonia

Pneumonia Vs Lung Cancer: Us Prevalence

Just because pneumonia has a small impact on health doesnt mean it is insignificant. In fact, out of all deaths in children under five years old, 15 percent can be attributed to pneumonia. That figure adds up to 922,000 deaths for 2015. Worldwide, pneumonia is still the largest cause of death for children within that age range.

The reason so many children die due to pneumonia is because less than one third actually get the antibiotics needed to fight the symptoms. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia make up the bulk of these deaths, with children being infected through airborne virus particles. However, pneumonia can also be spread through the blood, commonly taking place during birth in these regions.

Estimates for the U.S. lung cancer cases for 2016 are 224,390 new diagnoses and 158,080 deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Annually, more people die from lung cancer than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Lung cancer is mainly diagnosed in seniors over the age of 65, with less than two percent of diagnoses occurring in those younger than 45.

What Happens To Your Lungs When You Get Covid

COVID-19 virus infection is so far the worst battle that mankind has ever witnessed. It is a severe respiratory disease that mainly targets the lungs, leading to several serious symptoms such as drop-in oxygen levels, trouble in breathing, etc. So what exactly happens to your lungs when you catch the virus? According to the studies, the virus gets into the body through respiratory organs such as the mouth, nose, etc. After entering the body the virus comes in contact with the mucous membranes which are present in the respiratory tract innings. The virus then enters one healthy cell and the cell, in turn, makes new virus parts. This one cell then multiplies, and the new viruses then infect the other cells present nearby. The virus then splits into smaller and smaller branches in the lungs. Thus infecting the lungs and the alveoli slowly, leading to symptoms like breathing issues, cough, etc.

Read Also: Is Ibuprofen Good For Pneumonia

You May Like: Nebulizer For Pneumonia At Home

How Long Do You Live With Stage 4 Lung Cancer

Its true that life expectancy statistics dont paint a pretty picture, and its so normal to feel anxious, worried, concerned, and fearful about the future. But advances in science and research mean were seeing new and emerging treatments, together with greater research, and those living with lung cancer can participate in an increasing number of clinical trials.

  • Cancer Australia. Relative survival by stage at diagnosis . Available at: . Accessed April 2020.
  • How long do you live with stage four lung cancer? When people ask that question, I think, I remember the time when I first saw the statistics on Google about stage four lung cancer and how scared I felt when I looked at the numbers. Over the years Ive learned that its about how you interpret statistics rather than the numbers itself.

    Numbers may be low, but they may also represent what was available at the time in terms of treatment, and because statistics represent numbers from years ago, and knowing now that there are so many new advancing research, advancing therapies that are improving the outcomes of stage four lung cancer, I know that those statistics are changing and its so important to keep that in mind when you look at the numbers.

    Signs Of Lung Cancer You Should Know

    Pneumonia In Lung Cancer Patients

    Know the signs and symptoms! In the early stages of lung cancer, symptoms do not usually manifest according to the American Lung Association, this is because there are few nerve endings in the lungs. Many early lung cancers are diagnosed as an incidental finding with a test for a different purpose. But when they do appear, knowing the warning signs of lung cancer may allow you to get screened earlier. Finding lung cancer early allows for more personalized treatment options, with a much better success rate. Having one of the following symptoms of lung cancer is generally not a cause for worry, but if you experience multiple symptoms for an extended amount of time, its time to see your doctor.

    Recommended Reading: Best Treatment For Walking Pneumonia

    Why Is Lung Cancer Misdiagnosed

    There are high chances of a misdiagnosis especially during the early stages as both lung cancer and pneumonia affect the lungs and have several overlapping symptoms:

    • Cough
    • Tiredness
    • Loss of appetite

    Persistent chest infections are signs of something more serious than pneumonia, sadly this takes a few months for the doctors to diagnose properly.

    Early-stage lung cancer shows symptoms that are not very specific and just indicate the inability of the lungs to perform normally. It takes several years for the characteristic symptoms of lung cancer such as coughing up blood, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss to develop. Moreover, X-rays of the chest cannot be relied upon to detect early-stage lung cancer. These are the most common reasons for the initial stage of lung cancer to be mistaken for pneumonia. However, if you have worked in an industrial setting and regardless of whether your chest X-rays show asbestos fibers or not, we specifically evaluate your chest X-rays to help you determine the number of asbestos fibers in your lungs and the degree of scarring those fibers have produced.

    Claim EvaluationAsbestos Screening

    What Are Possible Complications Of Pneumonia

    Complications of pneumonia include:

    • Pleural effusion. This is when fluid builds up in the layers of tissue between your lungs and the wall of your chest. This fluid can become infected. This can make breathing very difficult. To drain the fluid, a tube may need to be placed between your lungs and your chest wall, or you may need surgery.
    • Bacteria in the bloodstream. This can occur when the pneumonia infection in your lungs spreads to your blood. This increases the risk that the infection will spread to other organs in your body. Bacteria in the bloodstream are treated with antibiotics.
    • Lung abscesses. Sometimes pus can collect in your lungs and cause abscesses. These are usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes the abscesses need to be drained with a needle or surgically removed

    People who have heart or lung problems, people who smoke, and people who are 65 years of age and older are more likely to experience complications from pneumonia.

    Recommended Reading: Pneumonia Can Be Caused By

    Common Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia

    The signs and symptoms of pneumonia are often similar to the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. This can make it difficult to detect and diagnose the infection. Some of the similar signs and symptoms may include:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Phlegm or sputum when coughing
    • Hoarseness or raspiness
    • Chest pain when breathing, coughing, and laughing
    • Fatigue

    Common symptoms of pneumonia may also include having a lower than usual body temperature, fever, sweating, shaking chills, loss of appetite, and nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

    When To Call Your Doctor

    Southern Hills ER nurse back to work after battling COVID, cancer, pneumonia

    If you have any of these symptoms of lung disease, especially an ongoing cough, blood-streaked mucus, wheezing, hoarseness, or a lung infection that keeps coming back, see your doctor. Youâll get a thorough checkup, and you may also get X-rays or other tests.

    Go immediately to the emergency room if you have any of the following:

    Recommended Reading: Can Pneumonia Mask Lung Cancer

    Symptoms Of Pneumonia And Lung Cancer

    Having been diagnosed with pneumonia before lung cancer or lung cancer before pneumonia actually does not matter a lot when it comes to the effects posed by these infections. Nevertheless, having lung cancer can easily lead to pneumonia. Once you have the two then your health is at stake, especially if you do not realize quickly and get the right treatment.

    It can be difficult to distinguish between pneumonia and lung cancer symptoms, since most of the symptoms are similar. This makes it more difficult identifying pneumonia if you are already suffering from lung cancer. It is important to understand symptoms caused by both infections to be able to relieve and treat them both.

    They include:

    Other symptoms of pneumonia unrelated to lung Cancer

    Apart from having the symptoms listed above which are directly related to lung cancer. You should expect other symptoms caused by pneumonia alone. They include:

    Types of pneumonia

    There are a number of pneumonia infections that a person suffering from lung cancer should watch out for. This is because people with lung cancer have a higher risk of getting pneumonia. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, fungus or a virus. This means you can have three different types of pneumonia. It is also possible to have all the types at the same time.

    Hence you should identify the type of pneumonia you have and keep yourself safe from the other types.

    Risk factors

    • Severity of symptoms
    • Other vital signs like blood pressure

    Help Prevent The Spread Of Infections:

    • Sneeze and cough into a tissue then throw it away right after use and wash your hands. If you dont have a tissue, sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
    • If you have a cold or the flu, stay home from work, school and public places
    • Regularly clean common areas of your home

    The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary depending on your age and what type of pneumonia you have. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe. The most common symptoms of pneumonia:

    • Fever
    • Feeling very tired and unwell
    • Chest pain

    If you have any of these symptoms its important to see your health-care provider right away. Since symptoms can vary depending on your age, see your health-care provider if you notice any health-related changes.

    If you have a chronic condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma, you may also notice a worsening of your condition.

    Your health-care provider may suspect pneumonia after asking you what symptoms you have and for how long youve had them. A physical exam, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope for abnormal sounds, can help with the diagnosis.

    If your health-care provider suspects you may have pneumonia, the following tests can help confirm the diagnosis:

    Your health-care provider may send you for other tests if required.

    If you have any regular symptoms, see your health-care provider to be assessed as soon as possible.

    You May Like: What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia In The Elderly

    Popular Articles
    Related news