Chemotherapy for lung cancer: What to expect during treatment

Chemotherapy for lung cancer: What to expect during treatment

Chemotherapy is a common treatment option for lung cancer patients. It involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells and slow or stop their growth. While it can be effective, it is important to understand what to expect during treatment.


Before beginning chemotherapy, your medical team will review your medical history and discuss the potential side effects of treatment. You may need to undergo tests such as blood tests, imaging scans, or biopsies to determine the best course of treatment.

Your medical team may also provide medication to help manage potential side effects such as nausea and vomiting, pain, and other symptoms. It is important to disclose all medications you are currently taking to your medical team to ensure there are no interactions with the chemotherapy drugs.

Treatment Process

Chemotherapy for lung cancer can be given in a variety of ways including intravenously (IV), orally, or through an injection. The number of treatments and the length of time between treatments will depend on the type and stage of your cancer.

Most chemotherapy treatments are given on an outpatient basis. You will be able to go home after the treatment unless you are experiencing serious side effects. You will need to stay hydrated before and after the treatment to help flush the chemotherapy drugs from your system.

Side Effects

Chemotherapy can cause side effects that vary depending on the type of drugs used and the individual. Some common side effects include:

– Nausea and vomiting
– Fatigue
– Hair loss
– Mouth sores
– Diarrhea or constipation
– Change in taste and appetite
– Increased risk of infection
– Anemia
– Neuropathy (nerve damage)
– Skin changes (rash, dryness, or itching)

It is important to report any side effects to your medical team immediately to prevent them from getting worse or causing other complications.

Lifestyle Changes

During chemotherapy, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to support your body’s ability to fight cancer and heal. This may include:

– Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein
– Getting enough rest and exercise
– Managing stress levels
– Staying hydrated
– Avoiding exposure to infection
– Limiting alcohol intake


Chemotherapy is an essential treatment option for lung cancer patients that can extend their life and improve their overall quality of life. Though it may have some side effects, they can be managed and controlled with the right medical team. By staying healthy and working to prevent infection, you can minimize the impact of chemotherapy on your life and focus on getting better.

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