Living with Lung Cancer

When living with lung cancer, you need to do all you can to stay strong. Try to maintain your weight by eating plenty of healthy food. And try to stay active. Being active helps improve both your physical and mental health. Taking these steps can also help limit certain side effects of your treatment.

Eating enough food

Try to maintain your weight. If you’re having trouble keeping weight on, eat foods that are high in protein and calories. These include nuts, cheese, beans, fish, or chicken. Ice cream, peanut butter, and eggs are good choices, too. Try eating many small meals daily rather than three big meals.

Talk with your healthcare provider if you’ve lost your appetite. You may be given medicine that can help you feel like eating again. Ask to meet with a dietitian if you're not sure what to eat. This nutrition specialist can teach you tips on how to get the nutrients your body needs to cope with cancer and cancer treatment. It you have trouble swallowing liquids or food, a speech therapist can teach you swallowing exercises and ways to help you eat safely.

Woman eating healthy food.

Staying active

Physical activity is good for both your body and mind. It can help you sleep better, boost your energy, and enjoy a sense of well-being. Staying active also reduces side effects, such as nausea and extreme tiredness. Try to be active only when you feel energetic and rested. Just be careful not to overdo it. Choose light or moderate activities. Ask your healthcare provider what exercises are safe for you. These may include stretching, walking, swimming, or bicycling.

You may be at risk of falling if you are extremely tired, or have balance problems, numbness in your feet, or dizziness. Ask to meet with a physical or occupational therapist to learn tips on how to prevent falling while getting physical activity.

To learn more

Learning more about your illness can help you be more in control of your treatment. To find out more about lung cancer, contact the following:

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Susan K. Dempsey-Walls RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.