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.
- Reference Home treatment for nausea or vomiting includes watching for and treating early signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth, sticky saliva, and reduced urine output with dark yellow urine.
- Reference Home treatment for diarrhea includes resting your stomach and being alert for signs of dehydration.
- Reference Home treatment for constipation includes gentle exercise along with adequate intake of fluids and a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.
- Reference Home treatment for fatigue includes making sure you get extra rest while you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation.
- Reference Home treatment for pain includes heat and cold packs and learning how to Reference distract yourself Opens New Window from the pain.
- Reference Home treatment for a sore mouth includes avoiding certain foods and rinsing with mouthwash or an antacid.
- Reference Home treatment for sleep problems includes having a regular bedtime and avoiding caffeine late in the day.
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.Reference 10
Smoking may 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.Reference 11
For information and help quitting smoking, see the topic Reference Quitting Smoking.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology