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31

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Version 1.2016

water, or trying breathing exercises. Your treatment

team may suggest other ways to help with nausea

and vomiting. For more information, read the

NCCN

Patient Guidelines: Nausea and Vomiting

®.

Smoking cessation

Smoking can worsen your overall health and how

well your lungs work. If you are a smoker, it is

important to talk with your treatment team about

ways to quit. It may also be helpful to join a support

group or talk to others who have quit.

Distress

Many patients with cancer experience symptoms

of distress, such as anxiety and depression. You

may feel anxious during testing, or you may have a

passing depression during a hard part of treatment.

Feeling distressed may be a minor problem, or it may

be more serious. Serious or not, tell your treatment

team so that you can get help if needed. Help can

include support groups, talk therapy, or medication.

At your cancer center, cancer navigators, social

workers, and other experts can help. Some people

also feel better by exercising, talking with loved ones,

or relaxing.

What is advance care planning?

When cancer is diagnosed very late or keeps

progressing despite all treatment efforts, it may be

time to set some new goals. If it becomes clear

that cure is not possible, treatment becomes about

making the most of your time and assuring that you

can meet death on your own terms.

Advance care planning is all about making sure that

your wishes are understood and respected. The

focus is on you receiving the best possible care at

the end of your life. Patients with incurable cancer

can set up an advance care plan early on to feel less

stressed and better able to cope with their condition.

The advance care planning process starts with

an open and honest discussion with your doctor

about your prognosis—what you may experience

in the coming months—and the medications or

therapies that may give you the best quality of life.

This discussion should include your partner and/or

other family members who love you and are likely to

be with you at the end. It’s important that everyone

understand the goals of your care and your personal

wishes about what should—and should not—be

done.

Once you’ve made these decisions, you will fill out

a legal document that lays out what you want done

if you aren’t able to tell the doctors yourself. This

document is called an advance directive. Doctors are

required to follow the care instructions in an advance

directive when you are too ill to give instructions

about your care.

Your advance directive should also identify a person

who is authorized to make decisions on your behalf

(health care proxy) it you can’t communicate. This

person may one day have to make some very

tough decisions, so you should think carefully when

selecting your proxy.

What is hospice care?

Hospice is a type of care designed to provide

medical, psychological, and spiritual support to

terminally ill patients and the people who love them.

The goal is comfort, not a cure. Many insurance

plans will only cover hospice services if your doctor

has said that your life expectancy is 6 months or less

and that you will not be receiving treatment designed

to cure cancer.

5

Supportive care

What is advance care planning?

What is hospice care?