During treatment for any stage of
lung cancer, there are steps you can take at home to manage some symptoms and side effects. Be sure to follow any instructions your doctor has given you.
Other issues you may be able to handle at home include:
- Loss of appetite or difficulty eating. Eating several small meals
throughout the day or eating soft, bland foods may help if you do not have an
appetite or if certain foods are difficult to eat.
- Coughing. You may have an ongoing cough or develop a severe
cough. Your doctor can recommend some nonprescription cough medicines or
prescribe some medicines to help relieve your symptoms.
If you smoke and have lung cancer, quitting smoking
will make your treatment more effective and may help you live longer. Smoking
delays healing after surgery, so you may have a better recovery from lung
cancer surgery if you have quit smoking.
People with early-stage lung cancer
who continue to smoke during radiation therapy have been shown to have shorter
survival times than those who do not smoke.10
also make chemotherapy less effective. The nicotine in tobacco seems to help
the cancer cells and their blood supply multiply while also protecting the
cancer cells from destruction.11
For information and
help quitting smoking, see the topic
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology
September 12, 2012
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