Rebecca Lehto, PhD, RN, OCN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University, discusses symptom burden in lung cancer.
Lehto says symptom burden is not only the types of symptoms the patient is experiencing but also how severe the symptoms are. In lung cancer, patients experience symptoms from the disease as well as the different types of treatments prescribed.
The most difficult symptom for patients with lung cancer to overcome is dyspnea, Lehto says. Although dyspnea is primarily a physical symptom, it also carries some cognitive component. Lehto says when patients feel as though they cannot catch their breath, it makes them very anxious.