Screening and monitoring for long-term side effects of lung cancer treatment is an important part of follow-up care. These include:
- Loss of lung function
- A thickening of the lining of the lungs
- Inflammation Skin reactions
- Anxiety or depression
- Throat and mouth soreness
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Hair loss
- Nervous system changes
When undergoing treatment most people expect to experience side effects. Nevertheless, survivors still find it surprising that certain side effects can persist beyond the period of treatment. Those are called long-term side effects. Other side effects which are called late effects can occur months or even years later. Long-term and late effects can involve physical as well as emotional changes.
Talk to your doctor about your risk of developing such side effects based on your cancer type, treatment plan and overall health. If you had a treatment known to cause specific late effects, you may have some medical examinations, scans, or blood tests to help find and manage these.
People who have the past history of smoking cigarettes have a high risk of heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. Some cancer treatments may increase those risks further. After cancer treatment, healthy lifestyle choices are important for overall well-being for all the patients especially for those who do not smoke.