lung cancer

lung cancer surgery recovery

Lung Cancer Surgery Recovery – 5 Recovery Tips from Patients

PatientsLikeMe members have talked in the forums about what it’s like to recover from lung cancer surgery – and what most doctors don’t tell you. We’ve gathered some helpful post-surgery hints members have shared. (Hint: Join PatientsLikeMe for access to the Lung Cancer Forum.) Many members have mentioned that the side effects of a lobectomy or other lung surgery can be more intense than they expected. “I had a right upper lobectomy 2 years ago – still have lots of pain and numbness – bras suck!” one member says. “The surgeon wasn’t very informative and my doctor, bless his heart, hasn’t ever had a patient like me so doesn’t really know what’s normal and what’s not,” says another member. “I’m very thankful for this site, I have learned a lot from it.” What can help? Finding the right bra. Wear a looser sports bra, an old bra (without underwire) or a stretchy camisole with soft cups, to give some breast support but nothing too restrictive. Setting yourself up for sleep. Stomach sleepers will need to get used to sleeping on their back or (maybe) side. Sleeping in a recliner, or using pillows or foam wedges to find a decent position in bed, can help you …

Lung Cancer Surgery Recovery – 5 Recovery Tips from Patients Read More »

Health news: What’s making headlines in June

In case you missed it, check out this round up of some of the stories making headlines in June…   Parkinson’s disease: Apple Watch will now be able to monitor PD: Tech developers announced this month that the Apple Watch will now be able to track two common PD symptoms — tremors and dyskinesia — and map them out in graphs to help doctors (and patients) with PD monitoring. Fill me in. Study points to an “overlooked driver” of PD — Bacteriophages: What are bacteriophages or “phages”? Viruses that infect bacteria. New research shows that people with PD may have an overabundance of phages that kill “good” bacteria in the microbiome or gut, which could mean a new target for treating PD. More on the study. Lupus: How common are cognitive issues with lupus? Very. A doctor specializing in lupus research says nearly 40% of people with SLE have some level of cognitive impairment, such as trouble with attention, recall and concentration — so doctors should monitor it early and often. Read his Q&A. Lung cancer: Drug may replace chemo as initial treatment for many with NSCLC: New clinical trial results of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda show that it can be a more effective first treatment than chemotherapy for …

Health news: What’s making headlines in June Read More »

Marijuana/lung cancer: New reporting on potential risks/benefits of cannabis

Medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) are getting a lot of media coverage — so what’s the latest, as it relates to lung cancer? See two recent high-profile articles that weigh the possible risks and benefits of cannabis for cancer and respiratory disease. And add your perspective. (Psst, checkout past PatientsLikeMe write-ups on medical marijuana and CBD for some background.) Risk factor or treatment? Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report published an article called “Is Marijuana a Risk Factor or a Treatment Option for Lung Cancer?” reported by online CBD resource CAHI. Some key points? Marijuana smoke has many of the same toxins as cigarette smoke, so it could harm the lungs. But the doctors and researchers behind a 2017 report say they have not found conclusive evidence showing that smoking cannabis causes lung cancer (some doctors note that it’s difficult to study because many who’ve smoked marijuana have also smoked tobacco, and there are fewer people who are heavy or habitual cannabis users). However, if it turns out that smoking cannabis isn’t as bad for your health as people first thought, then it comes as no surprise to find out that you can easily buy it online on sites like firethc. The 2017 report did …

Marijuana/lung cancer: New reporting on potential risks/benefits of cannabis Read More »

CyberKnife, VATS + other surgical and less invasive treatments for lung cancer

Surgery is among the most common treatments for people with lung cancer. Let’s take a closer look at various types of surgery for lung cancer, as well as emerging non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments, like CyberKnife or “SBRT,” cryosurgery and “VATS.” Huh? Read on… we’ll explain. Common types of lung cancer surgery Before we explore some of the newer and less invasive treatments, let’s review the most common surgical treatments for lung cancer these days. These are the most frequently reported treatments on PatientsLikeMe (to access the links below, join the community or login): Lung lobectomy – In this procedure, a surgeon removes the entire lobe of the lung that contains a tumor. The right lung has 3 lobes, and the left lung has 2 lobes. See members’ evaluations of this treatment here. Lung wedge resection – This procedure involves removing a small, wedge-shaped portion of the lung (containing cancer), along with a certain amount of healthy tissue that surrounds the area. See treatment evaluations here. Pneumonectomy – Also called “radical pneumonectomy,” this means surgically removing an entire lung. Read treatment reports here. Lung segment resection – This procedure usually removes more than a wedge resection would but not the entire lobe of the lung. See treatment reports here. Check out additional treatment …

CyberKnife, VATS + other surgical and less invasive treatments for lung cancer Read More »

What’s in your “chemo bag”? Gearing up for lung cancer treatment

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for lung cancer, so the community on PatientsLikeMe is chatting about what’s helpful to pack in a bag for chemo appointments (join PatientsLikeMe to take part in this lung cancer forum discussion). Everyone’s experiences, side effects and preferences are different, but here are some items that people who’ve had chemotherapy say they’ve brought with them: Sweatshirt and other comfy layers, in case it’s cold in the clinic (tip: a v-neck shirt and a hoodie with a zipper can offer easier access, if you have a central line or port Fuzzy socks and/or close-toed shoes A favorite blanket and pillow from home — although the clinic probably has these on hand, it can be nice to have your own Toothbrush and toothpaste, in case you get a bad taste in your mouth (sometimes called “metal mouth”) Anti-nausea aids, like ginger candy or “pregnancy lollipops” Bottled water or whatever you like to drink (some people say iced green tea settles their stomach) — to help you stay hydrated and prevent dry mouth Hard candy to suck on (fruity, minty or whatever you like) Snacks to graze on (some clinics provide snacks, while others just provide water and coffee)… food is …

What’s in your “chemo bag”? Gearing up for lung cancer treatment Read More »

2 immunotherapy treatments in the news: Imfinzi and Keytruda update

Two immunotherapy treatments — Imfinzi (durvalumab) and Keytruda (pembrolizumab) — have made headlines recently in relation to lung cancer treatment. What’s the latest? Here’s an update. Expanded FDA approval for Imfinzi The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Imfinzi as a bladder cancer treatment in 2017. Imfinzi is marketed by AstraZeneca. In February 2018, the FDA approved Imfinzi for some lung cancer cases — specifically for patients with “stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer [NSCLC] who are not able to be treated with surgery to remove their tumor, and whose cancer has not gotten worse after they received chemotherapy along with radiation (chemoradiation),” the American Cancer Society (ACS) explains. A few more details on Imfinzi, according to the ACS: The goal of treatment with this drug is to keep the cancer from getting worse for as long as possible (researchers call this “progression-free survival”). The new approval for Imfinzi was based on a randomized clinical trial of 713 people, which found that those who received the drug had an average progression-free survival of 16.8 months compared to 5.6 months for those in the trial who did not receive it. Imfinzi is a “checkpoint inhibitor” drug that targets and blocks the PD-L1 protein to …

2 immunotherapy treatments in the news: Imfinzi and Keytruda update Read More »

Health news: What’s making headlines this month

Let’s stay on top of the latest health news — in case you missed it, check out this round up of some of the stories making headlines in May. ALS May is ALS awareness month: Later this month, advocates from across the U.S. will head to Capitol Hill to meet with their legislators. Check out how you can get involved and join the fight against ALS. Congress passes $3 billion increase in NIH funding: $140 million of the increase will go to the BRAIN Initiative research projects that contribute to the knowledge and understanding of ALS. More info. Lupus May is Lupus Awareness Month: Nearly two-thirds of people know little or nothing about lupus beyond the name, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, which is promoting the “Go Purple” campaign. Get ideas for boosting awareness. A link between the “mono” virus and lupus? A new study published in Nature Genetics shows that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) — known for causing mononucleosis — may increase the risk of lupus and six other autoimmune diseases by changing how some genes are expressed. Check it out. Parkinson’s Disease “Suspect” Parkinson’s drug faces scrutiny: Following reports of hundreds of deaths and adverse events, the FDA is re-examining the safety of Nuplazid (pimavanserin), which …

Health news: What’s making headlines this month Read More »

Speaking out for Lung Cancer Awareness Month: “We’ve got to get rid of the stigma”

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re sharing members’ encounters with stigma and the automatic association with smoking. Lung cancer rates are increasing among nonsmokers, and some members of your community are raising their voices. One concern? The assumption that lung cancer only affects smokers could delay diagnosis and treatment for anyone (especially never-smokers) with symptoms. Some say that stigma also affects funding for lung cancer research. Lung cancer rates rising among nonsmokers As many as one in five people who die from lung cancer in the U.S. every year do not smoke or use any other form of tobacco, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). “In fact, if lung cancer in non-smokers had its own separate category, it would rank among the top 10 fatal cancers in the United States,” the ACS says. Two studies presented at the 2015 World Conference on Lung Cancer showed that lung cancer rates among nonsmokers (especially women) have been increasing over the past decade. The ACS says that avoiding or quitting tobacco use is still the most important way people can reduce their risk for lung cancer, but researchers have found several other causes or risk factors, including: Radon gas Secondhand smoke …

Speaking out for Lung Cancer Awareness Month: “We’ve got to get rid of the stigma” Read More »

How cancer affects diet + pointers for trying to eat well

Many PatientsLikeMe members have talked in the forum about the dietary impact of lung cancer treatment and how it has hindered their eating. As many as 40 to 60 percent of patients with lung cancer experience unintentional weight loss. Eating well (or as best you can) during and after cancer treatment can help you keep up your body weight, strength and ability to fight off infection. With the help of our Health Data Integrity Team, we’ve rounded up some diet and nutrition pointers for people with lung cancer. Treatment side effects impacting diet Everyone responds differently to treatments, and side effects vary in severity for patients, but here are some common ways treatments can affect your diet. Surgery – Recovery requires extra energy and nutrients to heal wounds, fight infection and recover (physically and emotionally). If your weight is below normal, either before or after surgery, work with your care team to develop a nutrient-rich eating plan. Chemotherapy – It aims to kill cancer cells, but chemo may also damage healthy cells in the mouth, stomach and intestines. This may result in mouth sores, taste changes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. When more than one drug is given (as is …

How cancer affects diet + pointers for trying to eat well Read More »

10 hot weather and sun-safety pointers for people with lung cancer

On PatientsLikeMe, nearly 7,000 members are sharing their experiences with lung cancer. The dog days of summer have arrived, so we’ve rounded up some tips for handling the weather’s impact on breathing troubles and the side effects of chemo, radiation and surgery. Hot weather tips for people with breathing issues The American Lung Association reminds those with lung disease that your lungs might be working harder in the summer air. Taking some extra steps may help you breathe easier. Hot and humid weather can cause airway inflammation and add to breathing difficulty. Tip: Use air-conditioners (with clean filters) in your home, if possible. Air pollution (which worsens in the summer due to increased ozone from smog) can also bother your breathing when you have lung disease. Tip: Keep tabs on the air quality forecast in your region, and avoid high-pollution areas (such as jammed highways), if you can. When your body is working harder to breathe, you can easily become dehydrated. Tip: Drink plenty of cold water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Sun- and heat-safety for people undergoing cancer treatment Certain kinds of chemotherapy can make you more sensitive to the sun. Radiation therapy sites and surgical scars also …

10 hot weather and sun-safety pointers for people with lung cancer Read More »

Scroll to Top