MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Fan-blown air is one of several drug-free treatments that may ease breathlessness in advanced cancer patients.
Researchers also found that medications — including opioid painkillers — do little to help.
The conclusions are from a review of 29 clinical trials involving more than 2,400 adults with advanced cancer.
“Breathlessness, or dyspnea, is a common and distressing symptom in patients with advanced cancer,” said lead author Dr. Arjun Gupta. He’s chief medical oncology fellow at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.
The non-drug interventions that helped hospitalized patients with breathlessness included fan therapy (air blown by a fan into the patient’s face) and bilevel ventilation (air pressure delivered through a face mask covering the mouth and nose). Both brought relief lasting from a few minutes to a few hours.
For outpatients, drug-free methods such as acupressure and…