Coping with Side Effects of Lung Cancer Treatment
It is important to talk with your doctor about possible side effects before you begin treatment. Everyone reacts differently to treatment and being prepared helps whether you experience problems or not.
Common side effects can include:
- Breathing Problems
- Infection, bleeding and anemia (chemotherapy can lower blood counts)
- Stomach problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation)
- Changes in appearance, including hair loss
- Pain and discomfort
- Changes in sexual functioning and effects on fertility
Potentially serious side effects of chemotherapy may include lowered white blood cell counts, which increase the risk of infection, and problems with heart function. If you now have or ever have had heart problems, be sure to tell your doctor to prevent complications.
Palliative (Supportive) Care
Palliative care is a specialized medical care focused on relieving the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is not treatment for the lung cancer itself. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage. You can get it along with curative treatment. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists. They work together with a patient's medical team to provide an extra layer of support.