Infectious Complications of Lung Cancer
February 01, 2005BySusan K. Seo, MD
Although patients with lung cancer have benefited from advancesin diagnostic techniques, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, infectionfrequently complicates the course of cancer treatment. Infectionmay be caused by the tumor itself, by antineoplastic therapy, or by supportivecare measures. Recognition of risk factors for infection is critical.The relationship between an underlying immune defect and certaininfections is well documented. Diagnosis may be complicated bythe paucity of signs and symptoms or by an atypical presentation. Promptinstitution of empiric antimicrobial therapy is usually warranted, particularlyin life-threatening infections. This review will focus on theepidemiology, diagnosis, and management of particular infections thatcan occur in patients with lung cancer.