Every year, November is designated as Lung Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness of the alarmingly high rates of lung cancer. Its goal is to raise public awareness of lung cancer prevention, treatment, and early detection. This worldwide health campaign urges individuals to take charge of their health, make wise choices, and be ready for obstacles when it comes to lung cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Shikhar Kumar, a consultant medical oncologist at Yashoda Hospitals in Hyderabad, provided insight on how to lead a healthy lifestyle both before and after lung cancer treatment in an interview with Jagran English.
Dr. Kumar states that lung cancer may strike both sexes, as well as those who have never smoked or who smoke now or in the past. While non-smokers often develop adenocarcinomas, smokers who acquire lung cancer typically have more aggressive tumors such as squamous cell carcinomas or small cell carcinomas. Over 75% of lung cancer cases in India are found to be either locally progressed (stage III) or metastatic (stage IV). Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the cornerstones of treatment at these stages, but thanks to tremendous advancements over the last ten years, immunotherapy and targeted therapy have significantly improved the prognosis for these tumors.
Lifestyle Selections During the Course of Therapy
According to Dr. Kumar, following the treatment plan exactly as prescribed by the oncologist is essential to getting the best results, and leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial in this respect. One of the biggest problems is that many patients with smoking-related lung cancer still smoke while receiving therapy. Numerous studies have shown that smoking cigarettes during cancer therapy lowers the likelihood of a cure and results in worse survival outcomes. Oncologists often encourage and advise their patients to stop smoking, and for those who are motivated to do so, they may also prescribe medications like nicotine transdermal patches and oral medications like bupropion/varenicline. Another important factor in the patient’s success in quitting smoking is the support of their family and caregivers.
During their therapy, patients are advised to eat home-cooked, freshly prepared meals and to stay away from raw or undercooked food, particularly when it comes from unidentified sources. Throughout the course of therapy, they should continue to be physically active and partake in yoga, meditation, and moderate cardiovascular exercise. It has been shown that these exercises enhance the patient’s general feeling of wellbeing, combat weariness brought on by chemotherapy, and enhance appetite and sleep.
After Treatment, Modifications in Lifestyle
Dr. Kumar claims that when cancer treatment is over, patients are inspired to go back to their previous jobs and lifestyles. Patients are counseled, meanwhile, to refrain from bad lifestyle choices such binge drinking, smoking cigarettes, and consuming a lot of junk food. Patients who have experienced the physical, psychological, social, or financial devastation of receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment are often very driven to kick old habits and prepare for starting over after treatment.