Dr. David S. Hanson>>> Let us talk for a few minutes about what it is like to be a patient with an advanced lung cancer problem. Most patients with advanced lung cancer will have cancer that spread beyond the chest cavity and affects other organs. For those patients, the most common treatment approach is chemotherapy, which is generally administered intravenously by vein or less commonly a pill by mouth. That chemotherapy is generally administered on a regular schedule. Oftentimes every third week with periodic examinations to be sure that the patient is tolerating the side effects of that treatment appropriately. Generally, the treating physician will have a visit with the patient to decide the exact course of treatment and the number of treatment courses to expect, prior to making measurements to determine how well that treatment is working for that individual patient. Most patients will be treated over the course of four, possibly six months with the goal to contain and control the cancer and lessen the symptoms. During the course of treatment for advanced lung cancer, there can be complications that occur that need to be managed by the physician.
You will need to have a meeting with your Doctor to understand the kinds of things that might occur as a consequence of the effects of your treatment and how those might be managed. Some of those complications can be quite serious and may require urgent, even emergent evaluation. It is vitally important that you understand the nature of your treatment, what to expect in terms of side effects and how to manage them so that you can gain the most benefit from your treatment for your lung cancer. .