When you’re dealing with advanced lung cancer, your doctor will suggest different types of treatment depending on how your disease has progressed. One of those options is immunotherapy, which focuses on stimulating your immune system to fight the cancerous cells in your body.
While this treatment can be effective, it’s not without side effects. As such, it’s essential to take care of yourself during your treatment.
What To Expect During Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a relatively new treatment but it has been found to be effective, especially in cases where other options have not been successful. The common side effects of this treatment include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, itchiness, joint pain, lack of appetite, nausea, and skin rashes.
In rare cases, immunotherapy treatment can cause your immune system to attack your major organs. This would be a significant issue and could lead to life-threatening illnesses. If you’re experiencing any changes in your health while on immunotherapy, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately.
The Best Tips For Self-Care While Undergoing Treatment
Maintain Communication With Your Doctor
When making the decision to put you on immunotherapy, your doctor would have communicated the reasons behind the decision. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to talk about it anymore.
There are different drugs involved in the treatment and the side effects that you need to look out for can vary widely. If anything isn’t clear, don’t be afraid to reach out for some clarification.
Use The Right Medication
As the treatment stimulates your immune system, it can have other effects on your body. For example, there may be inflammation and some discomfort. The ways these effects are treated will depend on the severity. For mild pain, an over-the-counter painkiller will usually do the trick. However, inflammation could call for the use of prescribed steroids. In any case, don’t start any new medications without discussing them with your doctor first.
Ask For Support If You Need It
There are several support-based organizations available for persons who are dealing with late-stage cancers. Persons at these organizations can help you to cope with your diagnosis as well as share helpful information about coping with immunotherapy treatment.