Lung cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Many patients with lung cancer have trouble adapting to the life changes that accompany the disease – or dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms it can bring. With help from Regional Cancer Care Associates, however, you can learn about these challenges and how best to manage them in your day-to-day life.
Knowing the Symptoms
The word “cancer” refers to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in our bodies. When this harmful occurrence begins in the lungs, it’s known as lung cancer. You or a loved one who is living with lung cancer may experience one or more ongoing symptoms, including:
- Chronic coughing or coughing up blood
- Chest or bone pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Voice hoarseness
In addition, feelings of self-blame or shame associated with lung cancer (ie, “It’s my fault I’m sick. If only I’d quit smoking … “) can result after diagnosis. Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and isolation also can occur in some patients.
Living with Lung Cancer
As you might expect, living with the symptoms of lung cancer can be challenging, especially when trying to lead a healthy, active life. This is true whether you’ve just been diagnosed or have finished your cancer treatment. However, practicing some of the following suggestions can help enhance your quality of life before, during, and after treatment:
Visit your doctor regularly
Maintaining regular contact with your care team is a great way to stay informed about the status of your lung cancer – and to keep the team updated on the severity of your symptoms. If you’ve recently been diagnosed, seek treatment as soon as possible and follow the personalized plan set out for you by the experts at Regional Cancer Care Associates. On the other hand, if you’ve recently completed treatment for lung cancer, it’s important to continue receiving regular medical checkups so you can stay informed about your health.
Eat healthy and exercise
There are many well-documented benefits of exercising and eating a balanced diet. For example, by eating your daily recommended value of fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking around 64 ounces of water a day, and limiting your alcohol intake, you can help your body stay as strong as possible throughout your lung cancer treatment. Plus, incorporating regular exercise into your routine can help you combat both the disease’s physical and psychological effects.
Seek emotional support
If you are experiencing adverse emotional effects, consider sharing your experiences with a social worker, mental health counselor, or support group. You can also go online to connect with fellow survivors and learn more about others’ stories. Arming yourself with this type of support can help you on your road to beating lung cancer.
Advanced, Compassionate Care
Throughout your battle with lung cancer, it’s important to keep the above advice top of mind and to use it to maintain your quality of life. It also helps to have experts like the ones at Regional Cancer Care Associates on your side to support you every step of the way. From innovative treatments utilizing state-of-the-art technology to emotional support resources, you can count on our lung cancer treatment services at our more than 30 locations across Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey. For more information, contact us today by calling any of our offices and speaking to one of our friendly representatives.