Before you try a complementary therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible value and potential side effects. Let your doctor know if you are already using any such therapies.
Complementary therapies are not meant to take the place of standard medical treatment, but they may improve your quality of life and help you deal with the stress and side effects of cancer treatment.
What To Think About
Most treatments for lung cancer cause some side
effects. Which side effects you experience will depend on the type of treatment
used and your age and overall health. Your doctor can talk to you about your
treatment choices and the side effects related to each treatment.
- Side Effects of Chemotherapy
- Side Effects of Radiation Therapy to the Chest
- Side Effects of Surgery for Lung Cancer
Palliative care is a kind of care for
people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse over time. It
is different from care to cure your illness, called curative treatment.
Palliative care focuses on improving your quality of life-not just in your body
but also in your mind and spirit. Some people combine palliative care with
As soon as you find out you have lung cancer, you may want to start palliative care along with your other treatment. Having this type of care may help you feel better. And it may help you avoid having too much medical treatment. One study of people with non-small-cell lung cancer who started palliative care when they were diagnosed with lung cancer found that they not only felt better but also lived a little longer than the people who didn't have palliative care.10
Some treatments for advanced-stage lung cancer are
considered palliative care. These treatments cannot cure your cancer, but they
can control your symptoms, reduce your pain, and make you feel more
comfortable. They include:
In addition to helping your body feel better, palliative
care can help you feel better emotionally and spiritually. Talking with a
palliative care provider may help you cope with your feelings about living with
a long-term illness. It may also help your loved ones better understand your
illness and how to support you. Or it could help you make future plans about
your health and your medical care.
If you are interested in
palliative care, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your care
or refer you to a doctor who specializes in this type of care.
more information, see the topic
If you have advanced-stage
cancer, you may choose not to have treatment because the time, costs, and side
effects of treatment may be greater than the benefits. Making the decision
about when to stop medical treatment aimed at prolonging life and shift the
focus to end-of-life care can be difficult. For more information, see the
- Hospice Care
- Care at the End of Life