Lung cancer treatment may have unfavorable side effects, causing complications in healthy tissues or organs. The side effects of lung cancer treatment vary depending on the particular treatment offered, and they often differ from person to person. Not all react the same way to the same treatment. The patient's age, as well as other health factors, can have an impact on the side effects they encounter.

The following table lists the most common side effects encountered by patients during care and immediately after treatment, as well as how to manage them:

1. Fatigue- Lingering feeling of tiredness.

  • Light to moderate physical activity
  • Good nutrition
2. Shortness of Breadth-  tightness in your chest, pain, or trouble breathing.
  • Call your doctor!
  • Practice breathing techniques and exercises
3. Skin Reactions- Might include rash, dryness, pain, redness, and peeling.
  • Use gentle skin-care products
  • Protect yourself from the sun

4. Throat and Mouth Soreness- Difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and mouth sores

  • Eat soft, moist foods. Avoid spicy foods
  • Suck on hard candy or popsicles
  • gargle with baking soda and warm water
5. Infection and Bleeding- You may have higher chances of developing infections and bleeding.

  • Wash your hands well 
  • Gargle with baking soda and warm water)
  • Use a soft toothbrush and an electric shaver instead of a razor
6. Hair Loss- Common after treatment

  • Use mild shampoos and  soft hairbrushes,
  • Buy a wig (scalp prosthesis and covered under some insurance policies)
  • Wear a hat or scarf

7. Nervous system changes- pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness. Forgetfulness, lack of concentration.

  • Be careful when grabbing sharp or hot objects
  • Wear shoes with rubber soles 
  • Taking notes or setting reminders (or having someone who can help you)
8. Anxiety or Depression- Feeling of sadness, anxiousness, gloom, loss of interest in things that you used to like before, trouble solving problems, and irritability.
Call your doctor immediately if you have thoughts of suicide
  • Speak with a health professional. 
  • Spend time with family and friends. Try deep breathing and relaxation exercises.
6.Gastrointestinal Issues- loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Loss of appetite- Eat several small meals 
  • Nausea or Vomiting- Try consuming non-spiced food, ginger tea, peppermint tea, or ginger ale
  • Diarrhea- Avoid high fiber foods 
  • Constipation- Eat high-fiber foods

Long-term Side effects of Lung Cancer Treatment: 

Some side effects can persist for months or even years after treatment, referred to as long-term side effects, while others may occur months or even years later, referred to as late effects. Any health issues you may have, such as diabetes or heart disease, may worsen as a result of cancer treatment. These long-term effects are unique to certain forms of treatment and normally manifest themselves over a set period of time.

Based on the type of cancer you had, the particular treatment plan, and your general health, your doctor will be able to tell you whether you are at risk of having any late effects. The following are some of the possible long-term side effects of cancer treatment:

  • Bone, joint, and soft tissue problems.
  • Chemobrain.
  • Digestion problems.
  • Endocrine (hormone) system problems.
  • Emotional difficulties.
  • Fatigue. 
  • Heart problems.
  • Lung problems.
  • Lymphedema.
  • Peripheral neuropathy.
  • Secondary cancers.

Here are a few tips which would help you live a better life.

  • Many cancer patients and survivors fear that the disease will return following treatment. Making healthy lifestyle improvements during and after cancer treatment has been shown to help prevent a recurrence or second cancer, according to research. Being more active when dealing with or after cancer may be a helpful change to make in your life.
  • A well-balanced diet will help them regain control. It can also make you feel like you're doing whatever you can for your well-being. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating well will help you maintain your stamina, increase your energy, and boost your overall well-being.
    Click here to learn more on  "Nutrition and Overall Wellbeing"

If you received a medication that was known to cause such side effects, your doctor could schedule you to have frequent physical exams, scans, or blood tests to better detect and manage them. Discuss which assessments are recommended depending on your care plan and how often you should have them with your doctor or clinician.


1. How Do I Manage Lung Cancer Side Effects? (n.d.). Www.Lung.Org. Retrieved November 5, 2020, from

2. ‌(2018). Cancer.Org; American Cancer Society.