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What Are the Pros and Cons of Palliative Care for Lung Cancer?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Palliative care for lung cancer is a type of specialized care designed specifically for lung cancer patients, particularly for patients who have not had success with treatments. As a type of medical care, palliative medicine deals with ways to reduce suffering and improve quality of life. There are pros and cons with palliative medicine. In addition to reducing symptoms, increasing mobility, and limiting secondary conditions, palliative care has the potential to prolong life expectancy. On the other hand, palliative care can also pose problems, especially if the patient is not responding to care or new symptoms occur as a result of palliative care efforts.

There are many different aspects of palliative care for lung cancer. Palliative medicine not only deals with the physiological and spiritual aspects of lung cancer. Some types of palliative care may also include holistic health care that incorporates herbs and relaxation techniques. Each part of palliative care has benefits and risks to consider.

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By the time palliative care for lung cancer has become necessary to implement, the patient has often already been through several treatments in an effort to cure the cancer. The goal has transitioned from remission to improving the remainder of the patient’s life, which can sometimes be lengthened with effective management. To accomplish this goal, a team of doctors and specialists work together to create a comprehensive plan. Counseling helps with emotional and psychological aspects while the physical symptoms of the disease are handled by a physician or cancer specialist. Palliative medicine reduces secondary conditions, such as anemia, and symptom management can help increase a patient’s mobility.

Although palliative care for lung cancer can be beneficial, it can also have drawbacks. Patients may suffer from symptoms that do not respond to medications and other reduction efforts. In fact, some patients may experience new symptoms that can be potentially dangerous. Every patient and instance of lung cancer differs, which makes communication between doctors and patients important. Unfortunately, many patients may reach a point where they have accepted their suffering and palliative care stops.

Discussing palliative care for lung cancer is important. The subject should be addressed as early as possible and continue throughout regular treatment. A patient’s medical history, disease history, and other factors help doctors create a custom management plan. It is also important to note that not every individual will have the same experiences with lung cancer, its symptoms, or the methods used in palliative care.

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