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Malignant Airway Obstruction

A significant percentage of lung cancer patients have endobronchial tumor or extrinsic airway compression during the course of their illness. Other types of cancer also may cause airway obstruction by metastatic spread to the trachea or bronchi. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often unsuccessful or prolonged in restoring airway patency and reinflation of collapsed lung. Interventional bronchoscopy techniques offer immediate benefit in many patients resulting in improved dyspnea, reduced risk of post-obstructive pneumonia, and improved functional status. This is especially important for patients who will undergo additional chemotherapy or radiation.