Living with Lung Cancer

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Medical consultation

Side effects. The majority of side effects associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy usually disappear at the end of the treatment. These symptoms are treated with medicines as and when they appear: nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, skin irritations on the hands and feet.

Cigarette crossed out on a "no smoking" poster

Give up smoking. If you smoke, then it is very important that you quit as it worsens the side effects associated with most treatments, such as loss of appetite and decreased lung capacity.

Two beer mugs crossed out indicating that alcohol is forbidden.

Alcohol. You are advised not to drink alcohol in excess.


Diet. There is no scientific evidence to suggest you should avoid eating proteins or sugars if you have cancer. No particular food is contraindicated, except on rare occasions due to interactions with certain drugs. Eat whatever you want but in small amounts and several times a day. It is important to maintain your muscular body mass and avoid losing too much weight.

Flask and alternative therapies

Complementary therapies. They are not contraindicated; however, you should always discuss them with your doctor beforehand.

Man running; regular physical exercise

Physical activity. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you should try to follow your normal routine and practice physical exercise if possible. It will help minimise treatment-related side effects and accelerate recovery. Practising physical activity tends to produce a greater feeling of well-being. Ask your doctor about the most appropriate level of activity for you. Similarly, physiotherapy is very important after surgery and whenever patients suffer a loss of muscular mass in their legs.

Sexual relations represented with male and female gender symbols

Sexual intercourse. You can still practice sex. Women of childbearing age should take contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy during treatment.

Person touching another person's back, emotional support

Emotional support. There are different patient and family support groups that provide advice and support from people who have suffered a similar situation. Ask staff at your health centre about this type of organisation.

What is Cancer?

General information about Cancer

Read more

Substantiated information by:

David Sánchez Lorente
Laureano Molins López-Rodó
Mari Carmen Rodríguez Mues
Noemí Reguart Aransay
Nuria Viñolas Segarra
Ramón Marrades Sicart

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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