Living well with lung cancer

Pulmonary Rehab for Lung Cancer

Some people with lung cancer have reduced lung function from their cancer or their treatments, like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. People with diminished lung functional capacity or shortness of breath may find pulmonary rehabilitation, a medical program that helps manage breathing, to be a helpful part of their palliative care.

Dr. Patricia Fogelman, DNP, a palliative care provider, talked to us to help us learn more about pulmonary rehab and its benefits.

Accepting a Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Coming to terms with a lung cancer diagnosis can be difficult. You might feel anxious, angry, or out of control. You might have difficulty sleeping or perhaps unable to even talk about your diagnosis. According to Leigh Ann Caulkins, MSW, LCSW, ACHIP-SW, Oncology Clinical Therapist at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, VA, this is all completely normal. It’s called an “adjustment reaction.”

Cancer Cachexia

This article is intended to be used for informational purposes and not to be taken as medical advice. The piece was reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Richard Dunne, MD, medical oncologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester.

Cancer cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome or anorexia-cachexia, is estimated to affect 50% of lung cancer patients. Despite being common, most patients don’t know what it is or even if they have it.

5 Reasons Why Nutrition Matters (A Lot) During Cancer Treatment

We’ve all heard the phrase “food is medicine,” but what does that really mean? In honor of National Nutrition Month this March, we are here to highlight why nutrition is a critical part of cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship!  Did you know that at the time of diagnosis, 90% of cancer patients already have addressable nutritional symptoms related to their cancer?  Unfortunately, many of these patients never receive nutrition intervention or support.1,2   

Here are five of the many reasons why good nutrition can help you on your cancer journey:


Resource Highlight: Ina®️, The Intelligent Nutrition Assistant

Rose Vining was initially diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011; she had two recurrences in the 5 years after her diagnosis. Over the years, she had several treatments, including two surgeries which resulted in the removal of her entire left lung, chemotherapy, SBRT radiation therapy, and, after her recurrence in 2016, more radiation, which left her with ¾ of a lung to breathe with.  Rose feels fortunate to be cancer-free now, but these treatments exasperated some of Rose’s pre-existing conditions; the foods she eats now have a huge impact on how she feels physically.

Resource Highlight: LifeLine Support Program

A lung cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Support from family and friends becomes a crucial part of navigating the disease. Equally as important to many is support and understanding from someone who has already walked the lung cancer path.

Finding someone who understands what you’re going through isn’t always easy, however. That’s why LUNGevity created the LifeLine Support Partners program.

The Benefits of Yoga for Lung Cancer Patients

Physical activity can be beneficial for lung patients; in fact, exercise has been scientifically proven to decrease tension, elevate mood, lessen fatigue, and generally improve quality of life. Even light exercise can release endorphins, which in turn can help improve sleep, stabilize mood, and reduce stress. 

Swimming, walking, and yoga are some of the best ways to exercise for lung cancer patients because they are moderate and low-impact. However, the best form of exercise is one you enjoy; liking an activity ensures you continue to do it.

Tips for Sticking to Your Nutrition Resolutions

Welcome to a new decade!  While now is about the time most people give up on “New Year’s Resolutions,” there is no reason you can’t stick to the goals you made earlier this month. Here are some ideas from Savor Health’s oncology registered dietitians to inspire you to stay on track and make the most of the new year. Accepting the idea that you CAN change your habits will help you to actually change them.