Aftercare of lung cancer, which comprises regular physical examinations and medical screenings, is important to ensure that the cancer does not recur. Besides ruling out the recurrence of cancer, follow-up sessions focus on minimise the after-effects of the treatment.
[Read: Recovery after Lung Cancer Treatment]
Why is Aftercare Important?
- Lung cancer patients may experience post treatment side-effects, such as pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Aftercare sessions help patients get over depression and anxiety.
- The aftercare program also has sessions on guidelines for good health, maintaining ideal weight, developing healthy habits and smoking rehabilitation.
- Lung cancer treatment aftercare programs also feature physical activities to help rebuild strength and energy levels. To improve heart and lung functioning, recovering lung cancer patients are advised to walk for 15 to 30 minutes each day. Before engaging in physical exercise, a doctor must be consulted to see if the exercises are safe to do.
- Some patients who don’t benefit from after-care sessions may need to go through physical therapy to restore lost mobility or undergo treatments that specifically treat side-effects; the latter may include pain management, infertility treatment and depression counselling.
[Read: Diet for Lung Cancer Patients]
Dealing with After-Effects of Lung Cancer Treatment
- A patient may experience physical as well as emotional changes such as pain, depression, etc post-treatment that may be a symptom of cancer recurrence. Do not be hesitant to report any discomfort to the doctor. Let him/her know if you are experiencing body aches, lumps, swelling, unusual bleeding, fatigue, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, sleeping difficulties, low libido, rashes and fever.
- Sometimes, the side-effects of lung cancer treatment show-up after a decade or more. This is why patients are advised to carry out lung cancer mammography more frequently and visit the oncologist regularly.
- Taking help from relatives or friends will make it easier for a patient to relieve emotional and physical stress.
[Read: How to Improve Lung Cancer Survival]
Treatment of lung cancer is not the end of recovery from lung cancer because a patient has to pursue regular medical tests to rule out cancer recurrence and ensure that the side-effects are minimised. During the aftercare sessions, doctors also screen the lung cancer survivors for other types of cancers.
Read more articles on Lung Cancer