Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Lung cancer health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Palliative care for lung cancer

Palliative care doesn't treat the lung cancer itself, but it can help to reduce symptoms such as pain, fatigue and emotional issues.

Palliative care may be recommended if treatment options have been exhausted.

Palliative care may be given at home, in a hospital if home care is not possible, or in a hospice.

Whenever possible, the transition to palliative care should be planned in advance.

Planning should begin with a conversation between the patient, someone representing the patient, particularly if the patient is too ill to be involved, and the doctor.

During these meetings likely outcomes, medical issues, and any fears or uncertainties can be discussed.

Palliative care covers the management of a broad range of issues, from physical and psychological problems to social and spiritual issues. Pain relief and help for shortness of breath are often important targets in palliative care for lung cancer, but there may also be treatments for anxiety, nausea and other physical symptoms.

Breathlessness will be treated with oxygen and medication such as opioids. anxiety-relieving drugs, and sometimes high-dose steroids. A tube may be put into the chest to drain off excessive fluid if this is causing the breathlessness, while laser treatments may be used to open blocked airways. Physiotherapy can help with breathing techniques and positioning.

Pain management includes anti-inflammatory medications and opioids. The patient is encouraged to participate in determining doses of the pain medication, because the amount needed to block pain will vary from day to day.

Other symptoms, such as anxiety, lack of sleep, and depression, are treated with appropriate medicines and, in some cases, complementary therapies.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on July 31, 2014

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman washing face
Prevent & treat flare-ups
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
female patient consulting with female GP
Take action for a healthy baby
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
cold sore
Prevent and treat cold sores
smiling african american woman
Best kept secrets of healthy hair
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
10 tips to lose weight after baby
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
african american woman wiping sweat from forehead
Relief from excessive sweating
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting