If you ever feel pain, stress or discomfort from living with lung cancer, ask your doctor about palliative care. Despite what most people think, palliative care for cancer does not mean hospice. It’s simply just another part of your treatment plan. Whether you’re at home, at the hospital or at RCCA, palliative care can help give you the support you need.
For example, if you’re extremely nauseated after receiving chemotherapy, your doctor can prescribe anti-nausea medication to help. That’s palliative care. Or, you might feel depressed or anxious. Palliative care can help with that, too.
Here are some of the best forms of palliative care for patients with lung cancer.
There are many unpleasant physical side effects of lung cancer and lung cancer treatment. At any given time, a patient may experience:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Discomfort after surgery
- And more…
Fortunately, doctors can prescribe palliative care to help alleviate these symptoms. Pain medications, nutritional supplements, drugs to help stimulate appetite and other types of medication can help patients with lung cancer.
It becomes difficult for many patients with lung cancer to breathe. They may experience shortness of breath. Their airway may become obstructed or there may be fluid in the lungs. Some ways to manage these symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Stents to hold open the airways
- Steroids to reduce swelling
- Oxygen therapy
- Portable oxygen tanks
- Drugs to control blood clots
It’s normal for anyone dealing with cancer to feel mentally and emotionally stressed. Depression and anxiety can start to affect their outlook on life. They may even feel guilty. Some patients with lung cancer might struggle as they come to terms with the idea that their smoking habit likely caused this to happen. But they don’t have to deal with these feelings alone. Counseling is always available and support groups often help, as well.
Chemotherapy and Radiation
Sometimes chemotherapy and radiation are prescribed as a way to manage symptoms. They might not be able to cure the disease, but they can help improve a patient’s quality of life and even extend his or her life.
No matter what form of palliative care for lung cancer you or your loved one needs, trust that RCCA will be there to help. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have at your next appointment.