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Living with Lung Cancer

Woman eating healthy food.

When living with lung cancer, you need to do all you can to stay strong. If you have not done so already, the most important thing you can do is to stop smoking. Try to maintain your weight by eating plenty of healthy food. And try to keep 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 and talk with a dietitian to determine what foods would be most helpful. And talk with your healthcare provider if you’ve lost your appetite. In some cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine that can help you feel like eating again.

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 at least light activity every day and moderate activity three days a week. It is OK to push yourself some but be careful not to overdo it. Choose light or moderate activities. These include stretching, walking, swimming, or bicycling. 

To learn more

Learning more about your illness can help you be more in control of your treatment. Here are some resources to learn more about lung cancer:

For more information about quitting tobacco

Call VA’s tobacco quitline at 1-855-QUIT-VET (I-855-784-8838), sign up for VA’s SmokefreeVET text messaging program at, and visit and   

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 2/1/2020
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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