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Living with lung cancer

People deal with serious problems in different ways. It's hard to predict how living with cancer will affect you. For example, you may have problems with breathing due to the effects of your lung cancer or its treatment.

If you have had surgery, the physiotherapist will show you breathing exercises to help you breathe more easily and prevent complications. Although breathlessness may be a symptom of other causes it can also be a sign that the cancer is spreading.

Patients who have had lung cancer are more likely to get chest infections. Anxiety may also cause breathlessness, and relaxation exercises may help with this.

About one-third of people having cancer treatment experience some pain, while others don’t have any. Pain isn't related to the severity of the cancer but varies from person to person. What causes cancer pain isn't well understood, but there are ways of treating it so that the pain can be controlled.

Having cancer can also lead to a range of emotions. These may include shock, anxiety, relief, sadness and depression.

Being open and honest about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help you may put others at ease. Don't feel shy about telling people that you need some time to yourself if that's what you need.

Source: NHS Choices, UK (Living with lung cancer)

Last reviewed: August 2015

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