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Lung Cancer (cont.)

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:

  • 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.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.11

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

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