Lung Cancer (cont.)
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Lung Cancer Follow-up
Following surgery for operable lung cancer cases, there is an increased risk of developing a second primary lung cancer as well as risk that the original tumor will come back.
Palliative and Hospice Care
Palliative care refers to a specialty of patient care focused on helping the patient to understand their options for treatment, to be certain that both physical, psychological, social, financial, and other potential stressors and symptoms are being addressed, and that advance directive issues are being addressed. It is not the same as hospice care. It is appropriate during both curative treatment and during times when treatment is not expected to be curative. Palliative care consultation in combination with usual non-curative chemotherapy and radiation for advanced lung cancer has been shown to be associated with a prolonged median survival as compared to chemotherapy and radiation alone.
Hospice care refers to care provided to optimize symptom control when all other treatment options have been unsuccessful or are declined. It focuses on supporting the patient and their family with home visits, equipment, counseling, and medication and coordination of care to maintain what quality of life can be provided at that point in the illness. This may mean, for example, keeping the patient at home rather than readmitting the patient for terminal symptom management, which can be provided at home with specialized support.
Hospice care may be given at home, in a hospital if home care is not possible, or in a hospice facility.
Lung Cancer Prevention and Screening
Prevention is primarily focused on smoking cessation.
Smokers who wish to quit obtain benefit from many different strategies, including nicotine replacement therapy with patch or gum, varenicline (Chantix), counseling, and support groups. Smokers who do not wish to quit, but are told that they must, often will relapse if they can ever quit at all.
Passive tobacco smoke exposure as secondhand smoke is a contributor to lung cancer incidence and should be discouraged.
Radon detection kits for testing the home and workplace can be recommended. Radon exposure is a cause of more than 10,000 lung cancer deaths per year worldwide, and is a leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Screening recommendations have undergone some recent changes as regards this significant health problem. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has further agreed and amplified the following recommendation:
Such testing has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of dying from lung cancer by 15% to 20% as compared to those receiving only an annual chest X-ray.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/3/2016
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