Breathing Exercises in Lung Cancer - A Systematic Review

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Jagurothula Bhaskara Rao, Kshitija Bansal



Lung cancer is a leading global cause of cancer-related mortality, with a significant impact on public health. Dyspnea and reduced quality of life are common among lung cancer patients. Breathing exercises have been explored as potential interventions to mitigate these symptoms. This systematic review aims to assess the comparative impact of various breathing techniques on dyspnea and quality of life in individuals diagnosed with lung cancer.



We conducted a comprehensive literature search across multiple databases, including Medline, EMBASE, AMED, and PsycINFO. The eligibility criteria included original research studies, encompassing randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental investigations, and controlled before-after studies, involving adult individuals diagnosed with lung cancer. We evaluated various breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, pursed-lip breathing, and incentive spirometry, and assessed outcomes related to dyspnea and quality of life.



The review included studies from different countries, primarily utilizing randomized controlled trials. The findings revealed that inspiratory muscle training, deep breathing exercises, and diaphragmatic breathing showed promise in reducing dyspnea and improving quality of life among lung cancer patients. Some studies highlighted the benefits of combined interventions, particularly when incorporating aerobic exercise. However, intervention protocols varied across studies, emphasizing the need for standardized guidelines in clinical practice.



This systematic review underscores the potential benefits of breathing exercises in alleviating dyspnea and enhancing the quality of life in lung cancer patients. Multifaceted approaches may offer more comprehensive benefits. Further research with standardized protocols is essential to provide evidence-based recommendations for lung cancer rehabilitation.

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