If you have a loved one who was just diagnosed with lung cancer, then you likely want to help them in any way you can. With a loved one in distress, it is great to take an active role in guiding their care while they are still learning to accept their diagnosis and all of the emotions that come along with it. Like many people just learning about cancer treatment options, you may wonder just how treatment at a lung cancer center differs from treatment at a traditional hospital. While no two lung cancer centers are completely alike, they do have many similarities. Read on to learn about three ways your loved one's lung cancer treatment will differ at a lung cancer center when compared to a traditional hospital so you can make an informed decision about which may be best for your loved one.
1. Cancer Centers Typically Focus More On Nutrition Than Hospitals
If you have ever had to stay at a hospital, then you know that the hospital meals can be less than appetizing. However, their taste is not the only complaint many people have, especially nutrition experts who believe that hospital food is often simply unhealthy. Since many cancer treatments cause patients to lose their appetites, it can be even more difficult for cancer patients to obtain proper nourishment at a hospital than many other patients.
The National Cancer Institute stresses that proper nutrition is important for people who have cancer. When the right foods are eaten during chemotherapy treatments, they can even prevent many of the negative side effects that often accompany the medications.
Lung cancer centers typically connect every incoming patient with a dietitian who plans their meals very carefully to make sure they obtain optimal nourishment to keep their bodies strong and as healthy as possible while battling cancer. Patients are typically served plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables packed with antioxidants, protein to prevent muscle loss, and healthy fats that help every patient eat as many calories as they can to prevent unhealthy weight loss.
2. Many Offer Complementary Medicine Therapies
While cancer centers in the United States do embrace modern medicine and are equipped with modern technology, they also don't typically shy away from complementary and alternative medicine. While no cancer center will force a patient to engage in a type of medicine they don't believe in, they offer these services to those who do believe in them to help patients in every way they can.
Acupuncture may be offered, and while, of course, it does not cure cancer, it can help relieve nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, relieve anxiety and depression that often occurs when battling a disease, and is even believed to affect the immune system in a positive way.
Types of complementary medicine offered vary from center to center, although others that can help cancer patients include hypnosis, massage, music therapy, and even yoga.
3. They Often Offer Newer Cancer Treatments and Experimental Ones
While lung cancer centers do typically offer some treatments that are the same as, or very similar to those hospital oncology departments offer, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and of course, surgery, they often offer newer, experimental treatments that are great options when the standard lung cancer treatments don't work or a patient wants more choices.
A new treatment for lung cancer is called immunotherapy, and in 2015, two lung cancer immunotherapy medications were officially approved by the FDA. However, there are many more lung cancer medications currently being tested in clinical trials, and if a doctor at a lung cancer center suspects that a patient will respond well to a medication that is not yet FDA-approved, they will do whatever it takes to enroll the patient in the clinical trial, so they can reap the benefit of the medication.
If your loved one was just diagnosed with lung cancer, then you likely want to help them in any way you can. Helping them choose between treatment at a typical hospital and treatment at a lung cancer center may seem like an overwhelming decision, so keep these three differences between the two in mind when helping them make their decision.
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