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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Supportive Care and Lung Cancer

Posted Jan 11th, 2021

Lung Cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in Canada. According to the 2020 updated statistics, more Canadians die of lung cancer than colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancers combined. In 2020, it is estimated that as many as 21,000 Canadians will die from Lung Cancer https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200922/dq200922b-eng.htm 


The Medical  Oncology  Guidelines for Treating Lung Cancer have improved a lot in the last decade with the introduction of New Targeted Agents such as Gefitinib (Iressa), Erlotnib (Tarceva), and Nivolumab as compared with the standard chemotherapy which was the main line of the treatment of most cases on Non Small Cell Lung Cancer for many decades before this breakthrough of the targeted agents and Immune Therapy started.  


One of the most important strategies for Lung Cancer Treatment is the Supportive Care.     Starting supportive care earlier for advanced Lung Cancer Patients can make a lot of difference in their quality of life and overall Well-being. This article will discuss the role of the Supportive Care in Lung Cancer.


In 2016, Temel J et al published a research article on the role of supportive care and lung cancer. In this research, 175 patients with advanced lung cancer and GI cancers were given the best Supportive and Palliative Care while receiving standard Oncology care at the same time and were compared to another 175 patients who were treated only with the standard oncology care without the proper palliative or supportive care.

At 24 weeks from the intervention, the Lung and GI Cancer patients who received Supportive care did very well regarding the overall quality of life and General performance as compared to those who have received standard Oncology Care only.

In conclusion, the early introduction of Supportive and Palliative Care for patients with advanced Lung Cancer can positively impact the quality of life of those patients.

Supportive Care for advanced Lung Cancer patients can be achieved in many ways such as Pain Management and improving sleep and energy. Addressing the root causes of Fatigue and Pain in Lung Cancer Patients can be the clue to the proper Palliative and Supportive care for them. For Patients who are unable to eat or drink because of their advanced disease, intravenous supportive care can be an option, especially for severely dehydrated or emaciated patients.

When doctors start palliative care for advanced Lung Cancer patients, they need to understand all the other health concerns of these patients that can contribute to their illness and suffering and can be sometimes more riskier on their quality of life or general performance than the Cancer itself.

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