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Lung Cancer - Home Treatment

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:

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Understanding Lung Cancer -- the Basics

Although lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. in both men and women, it is also one of the most preventable kinds of cancer. At least four out of five cases are associated with cigarette smoking, and the cause-and-effect relationship has been extensively documented. During the 1920s, large numbers of men began to smoke cigarettes, presumably in response to increased advertising. Twenty years later, the frequency of lung cancer in men climbed sharply. In the 1940s, significantly...

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  • 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.

Quit smoking

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.8

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.9

For information and help quitting smoking, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 19, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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