Lung cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth on or in the lungs. If left untreated, this cell growth, also called tumor, can spread beyond the lung, into nearby tissues and other parts of the body. Being diagnosed with lung cancer can be devastating for the patient as well as his/her family members and friends.
It is a fact that lung cancer has a very poor survival rate and more than 70 percent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer lose their lives within a year of diagnosis. However, you don’t need to fret, as there are the other 30 percent who survive with lung cancer for years, and you or your loved one, recently diagnosed with lung cancer, can be one of them. While no one can predict how long you or anyone known to you has left to live, you can at least improve the quality of your life as long as you are alive. Here are a few tips that can help you or your friend live, to some extent, a normal life with lung cancer.
Get the facts about lung cancer
The first thing that you need to do is to learn the facts about lung cancer. According to the latest estimates, about 180,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year, and most of them are directly related to smoking. If you are a smoker, you should immediately stop smoking, since it can worsen your condition and further shorten your lifespan.
Learn about your treatment options
The next thing you need to do is to learn about your treatment options. Like any other cancer, there are a number of treatments for lung cancer as well, including chemotherapy, laser light therapy, radiation and surgery. Depending upon the type and stage of your lung cancer, discuss with your doctor which of the above mentioned treatment options can be beneficial for you.
Join a clinical trial
Joining a clinical trial will allow you to take part in a number of experimental therapies that may treat your cancer effectively, if not, they will at least improve your quality of life. Your doctor can help you get more details on open clinical trials. You can also search for clinical trials yourself on websites of various reputed Cancer Treating Institutes.
Know how to cope with breathlessness
Breathlessness is a common symptom of lung cancer and learning how to control it can significantly improve the quality of your life. Breathing exercises, such as inhaling slowly through your nose and exhaling through mouth can help. You should also look to avoid activities which can cause you to lose breath.