Duc  M. Ha, M.D., M.A.S.

Duc  M. Ha, M.D., M.A.S.

Institution: Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research

Project: Overcoming Breathlessness in Lung Cancer Survivors 

Grant(s): Lung Cancer Discovery Award

The number of U.S. lung cancer survivors is increasing thanks to advances in treatment. Following curative treatment (that aims to get rid of lung cancer), many lung cancer survivors experience significant symptoms, impairments in daily activity and function, and poor quality of life. Our research showed that lung cancer survivors experience significant worsening of breathlessness (shortness of breath) after treatment. Breathlessness can prevent patients from pursuing normal activities and contribute to poor quality of life, especially if left unaddressed. Also, studies by other researchers show that an exercise regimen called inspiratory muscle training can reduce breathlessness in patients with chronic lung diseases. We will apply this exercise regimen to help lung cancer survivors overcome breathlessness and improve their physical activity. This research will improve our understanding of rehabilitation strategies for lung cancer survivors following treatment, to ultimately improve their symptoms, function, quality of life, and possibly longevity.

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