Lung Cancer

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Lung cancer is a cancer that generally starts in the cells that line the airways of the lungs. The 2 basic types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Follow up with your oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Oxygen:

You may be given oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula to help you breathe easier. Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke in the same room while your oxygen is on. This may cause a fire.

Self-care during cancer treatment:

  • Rest as needed. Return to activities slowly, and do more as you feel stronger. You may have trouble breathing when you are lying down. Use foam wedges or elevate the head of your bed. This may help you breathe easier while you are resting or sleeping. Use a device that will tilt your whole body, or bend your body at the waist. The device should not bend your body at the upper back or neck.

  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drink extra liquids to prevent dehydration. You will also need to drink extra liquids if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments.

  • Eat healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. It may be easier for you to eat several small meals a day rather than a few large meals.

  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting. Avoid being around others who smoke.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or oncologist if:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have blood in your mucus or spit.

  • You are vomiting and cannot keep food or liquids down.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cannot think clearly.

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded or are short of breath.

  • Your lips or nails look blue or pale.

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough, or you cough up blood.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Lung Cancer (Discharge Care)

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