Cancer-related breathing problems include dyspnea (difficult or laboured breathing) and breathlessness (feeling short of breath). Breathing problems affect 20%–40% of people with cancer and are even more common in those with lung, breast, prostate and advanced cancer. The causes include some cancer treatments, anemia, infection, deconditioning, pre-existing lung disease and cancer itself.
The extent to which breathing problems affect ability to perform a job depends on the severity of the symptoms and the job demands. Physically demanding jobs may be more challenging for those with breathing problems.