Cancer Causing Airway Obstruction

Etiology

  • Focal obstruction of larger bronchi
  • Tumor can occur within trachea (squamous cell, adenoid cystic carcinoma)
  • Tumor can cause extrinsic compression (lymphoma, thyroid, esophageal, other)

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Asbestos

Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Hemoptysis
  • Weight loss
  • SOB
  • Wheezing, stridor
  • Symptoms might improve if co-existent infection is treated, w/recurrence and/or progression if primary obstruction not addressed

Physical Exam Findings

  • Wheezing, which can be focal over airway that's obstructed
  • Tracheal process: Stridor → inspiratory & expiratory wheeze loudest over trachea
  • Adenopathy in cervical region or other palpable mass