This can drain fluid from the area around the lung to allow better expansion of the lung.
Where cancer involves the lung, lymph glands or ribs, radiotherapy can reduce the size of the tumour. This can help with symptoms like breathlessness, pain or bleeding.
The painkiller morphine can be used to help relieve breathlessness. Morphine is mainly given as tablets, in liquid form or by injection.
Other types of painkillers can also be helpful in relieving breathlessness and also reducing the distress it can cause.
Steroids and bronchodilators
These are types of drugs that are often used to help reduce inflammation and spasm in the airways of the lungs, which in turn helps to reduce breathlessness.
These can help to relieve panic and medicines can be given to reduce the anxiety that breathlessness can cause.
A cylinder of oxygen with a mask can be helpful if your oxygen levels are low, particularly after activities needing a lot of exertion. Oxygen is organised through the respiratory team at the hospital or your palliative care doctor.
If breathlessness is being caused by a chest infection, antibiotics can help to relieve this.
Blood clots in the lung can contribute to breathlessness, and blood thinning medications (anticoagulants) can help with this.
A small research study has shown that acupuncture can be helpful for some people in relieving the experience of breathlessness. Other complementary therapies such as reflexology and homeopathy may also be helpful for some people.