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Symptom burden in lung cancer: management updates


Lung cancer is recognized to carry a high symptom burden with associated lowered quality of life as compared with other cancers. Research has shown that symptom severity can be a prognostic indicator of poorer clinical outcomes and survival post treatment. The purpose of this paper is to review current literature relative to symptom burden associated with diagnosis, medical and/or surgical intervention, assessment and management updates, and emerging initiatives that promote positive outcomes based on updated evidence. Discussion relative to interdisciplinary coordination of supportive services and palliative care initiation is provided.

Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, is recognized to carry a high symptom burden with associated lowered quality of life as compared with other cancers [1–3]. Symptom burden combined with poorer prognosis in lung cancer inflicts harsh economic and social costs on patients and their families [4]. Reducing symptom burden to enhance quality of life is a primary goal in clinical management [5] despite variation in stage of disease and treatment options. Research has shown that symptom severity can be a prognostic indicator of poorer clinical outcomes [6] and survival post medical treatment for lung cancer [7,8]. The purpose of this paper is to provide a current general overview about symptom burden in lung cancer associated with the diagnosis, medical and/or surgical intervention through the survivorship spectrum, management updates and emerging initiatives that promote positive outcomes.

Click here to view the full article in our partner journal Lung Cancer Management.