August 29, 2017

Lung Cancer: How to Manage Treatment Side Effects

MANAGING TREATMENT SIDE EFFECTS

The body’s reaction to chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted treatments depends on a number of factors such as length of treatment, dosage prescribed, and a person’s health history. Most side effects are short term, but some can last throughout your treatment and even for some time afterward. Although side effects can be uncomfortable or painful, doctors now have many ways to reduce and even prevent side effects from treatment.

The following are possible side effects you may experience and resources to help you manage:

1). Blood clots
People with cancer are at risk for developing blood clots for various reasons, but steps can be taken to prevent and treat blood clots.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Blot clot issues at CancerCare

2). Bone issues
Cancer that starts in or spreads to the bones can lead to bone pain and an increase in risk for complications, including weakening of the bone, fractures, and high calcium levels in the blood. Cancer treatments may also affect your bones.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Bone Health at CancerCare

3). Chemobrain
Problems with memory and concentration, along with a general feeling of not functioning as well mentally as usual, are informally referred to by patients as 'chemobrain'.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Chemobrain at CancerCare

4). Dental issues
Side effects from cancer treatment may include tooth decay and other mouth issues, including dry mouth and mouth sores. It’s important to address any dental concerns you have, especially before beginning treatment, but also during and after with both your treating physician and dentist.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Dental health at CancerCare

5). Diarrhea
Defined as two or more loose bowel movements per day, diarrhea may be caused by some types of chemotherapy and radiation to certain areas of the body. There are many things you can do to help control diarrhea.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Diarrhea at CancerCare

6). Fatigue
Fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect of cancer and its treatment. Make sure to report fatigue to your health care team so that everything can be done to manage it.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Fatigue at CancerCare

7). Hair loss
Hair loss from chemotherapy treatment occurs because hair follicles are weakened by chemotherapy, which causes your hair to fall out much more quickly than it would normally.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Hair problems at CancerCare

8). Lymphedema
People with cancer who have undergone lymph node removal and/or radiation as part of their treatment are at risk for developing lymphedema, a painful swelling that happens when your body’s lymphatic fluid is unable to circulate properly and builds up in your soft tissues instead.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Lymphedema at CancerCare

9). Mouth sores
“Oral mucositis” refers to mouth sores caused by irritation of the mucosa—the soft tissues that cover the tongue and inside of the mouth, and can be a serious side effect of chemotherapy treatment.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Mouth problems at CancerCare

10). Nausea and vomiting
While many people who are treated for cancer experience nausea and vomiting, medicines exist that can help control these side effects.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Nausea & Vomiting at CancerCare

11). Neuropathy
Some people who receive chemotherapy experience numbness or tingling in their hands and feet, what doctors call peripheral neuropathy.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Neuropathy at CancerCare

12). Pain
If you are experiencing pain as a result of your cancer or its treatment, you should know that managing this pain is an important part of your overall care and should be brought to the attention of your physician. They may find it helpful to provide a referral to a pain management specialist.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Pain control at CancerCare

13). Rash
A type of targeted treatment that blocks epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) often causes rashes and other bothersome skin conditions.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Rash problems at CancerCare

14). Weight loss or gain
Cancer treatments can usually lead to weight loss, but people with cancer can also experience weight gain from chemotherapy treatment, steroid medications, and hormone therapy.

Learn more and view resources on this here: Weight problems at CancerCare

IN CONCLUSION
The diagnosis of cancer is often a life-changing experience. And you need all the help you can get. Verified information from specialist in this field is quite helpful. You should visit Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment for more information about treatment and links that can help with treatment choices.

Do also visit Life after cancer treatment for really useful resources; and also Understanding and managing Chemotherapy side effects for more on the side effects of cancer treatments.

You can get extremely helpful resources at Cancer Care Choices for Young People if you are between 19 and 24, and living in the UK.



Reference(s)
1). Centers for Disease Control: Lung Cancer - Basic information. Accessed 22.08.2017. Available here: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/
2). Lung Cancer 101: What is lung cancer?. Accessed 22.08.2017. Available here: https://www.lungcancer.org/find_information/publications/163-lung_cancer_101/265-what_is_lung_cancer

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