This section of the website is here to help answer some of the more common questions that people often have. Please remember that this information does not override the opinions of your healthcare team, and they should be your first point of contact when looking for advice or guidance around specific aspects of your treatment.
While it can be hard to predict exactly how your NSCLC will react to treatment, delayed cancer progression is possible, meaning it’s possible to survive for a long time after diagnosis.
When you start treatment, your doctor should inform you of any side effects you may experience. A list of these can also be found in your Patient Information Leaflet.
If you experience a side effect (whether it’s listed in your Patient Information Leaflet or not), you should tell your doctor. If the side effect is causing you a lot of distress, or discomfort then get in touch with your healthcare team straight away. If you are able to tolerate the side effect then make a note of it and tell your doctor at your next appointment.
You shouldn’t stop taking treatment unless your doctor tells you to. If you are struggling with a side effect, then get in touch with your healthcare team. They can offer you support and advice so that it can be managed.
There are common misconceptions about what palliative care means. While palliative care does cover support for end of life, it is not limited to this. If you have been referred to a palliative care team, it does not mean that there’s nothing else to help treat your NSCLC. It simply means that the team are going to help you manage your symptoms and try to improve your quality of life, whether you’re on treatment or not.1
You can read more about palliative care here.
Before an appointment, it’s always worth checking with your doctor or healthcare team to see if you need to do anything beforehand or take anything with you.
Remember to prepare any questions and take notes of any side effects you’ve experienced to help get the most from your appointment.
For useful tips on how else to prepare for appointments, download the Appointment and healthcare team discussion guide here.
You should try to keep contact details of your healthcare team safe, so you can get in touch with them when you need help. But if you haven’t yet got these written down, try searching for the hospital contact details online. You can then ask reception for the contact details of your doctor or healthcare team.
If you feel you need urgent help, don’t be afraid to call your emergency services.