Palliative care is not meant to cure or treat the lung cancer. On the other hand, it helps to reduce the symptoms and discomforts caused by lung cancer to the patient. Palliative care us suggested when all other treatment options fail to gain good results. It can be done at home itself. However, the doctor will plan it in advance when it is about to stop all other treatments. The planning is done after a conversation with the patient or the caretaker. During the planning session, the doctor will explain the possible outcomes, expectations of the patient, medical issues and other doubts of the patient.
Palliative care is all about managing a wide range of issues caused by the disease- cancer. It can be either physical, psychological or social. Major targets for palliative care for lung cancer will include relieving the pain and other discomforts like shortness of breath. Treatments for nausea, anxiety and other physical symptoms will also be provided during palliative care. If the patient suffers from breathlessness, he/she may be given oxygen and appropriate medications. High-dose steroids and anxiety-relieving drugs may also include in palliative care for lung cancer. If the breathlessness is caused by excessive fluid, it may be drained off using a tube through the chest.
Blocked airways may be corrected with laser treatments. To improve breathing and positioning, physiotherapy may also be included in it. Pain management is done using opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs. The dosage of medication may vary in each individual. Complementary therapies and other medications will also be included in the programme to tackle symptoms like depression, lack of sleep, and anxiety.