Working with your NSCLC treatment team

If you are being treated for metastatic EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer, there are a number of things you should know about and do to make the most of your treatment. As you take a look at the ideas and tips here, keep in mind that your treatment team is centered on you and your needs. Being an engaged and determined partner will help them do their jobs even better.

Your doctor and your treatment team

Your oncologist

The leader and coordinator of your cancer treatment team is an oncologist–a doctor who specializes in treating lung cancer. Your doctor is the first source of information on treatment options, side effects, lifestyle changes that may help, or family and emotional issues. Your doctor is your knowledgeable and caring partner as you fight the disease.

The other members of your treatment team

Nurse navigators or patient navigators are often your key contact when working with your treatment team. They work with the rest of the team to get what you need, whether it’s scheduling appointments and tests, finding extra support, financial help, or insurance help. Navigators can be either nurses or social workers.

Oncology nurses specialize in caring for people with cancer. They know a lot about the treatments you are taking and ways to help lessen the side effects.

Oncology social workers have the training and resources to give you counseling and assistance, and help you tap into other resources. They can also help you communicate with the team, and help your loved ones as they help you.

Pulmonologists are trained to diagnose and treat lung disease. A pulmonologist can help you with breathing problems from NSCLC or other lung conditions. Pulmonologists can also perform biopsies.

Psychiatrists and psychologists can help you cope with the many emotions that come along with cancer and cancer treatment.

Dietitians or nutritionists can give you advice on what to eat in order to stay healthy while on treatment.

Radiologists are the people who perform and interpret the scans that are made while you are on treatment to keep track of whether your NSCLC is progressing, and how it may be changing. Interventional radiologists are involved in biopsy procedures.

Other kinds of specialists may also join the team, depending on the circumstances.

Up next: Scans & Tests >

Important Safety Information

Before taking IRESSA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • ever had liver problems
  • have vision or eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. IRESSA can harm your unborn baby.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment with IRESSA and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of IRESSA. You should avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if IRESSA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with IRESSA. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

If you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), H2 blocker, or an antacid medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to take it during treatment with IRESSA.

If you take a blood thinner called warfarin, your healthcare provider should do blood tests regularly to check how fast your blood clots, during treatment with IRESSA.

 

What are the possible side effects of IRESSA?

IRESSA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung or breathing problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the lung that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing or shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
  • Liver problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include: yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea colored) urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), decreased appetite, or pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with IRESSA.
  • A tear in the wall of your stomach or intestines (perforation). Get emergency medical help right away if you have severe stomach (abdomen) pain.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with IRESSA and can sometimes be severe. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you get watery eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes.
  • Skin reactions. Skin redness, rash, itching, and acne are common with IRESSA. This may occur on any part of your body. Get medical help right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of your skin.

IRESSA may cause fertility problems in females. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of IRESSA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is IRESSA?

IRESSA is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • that have certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, and
  • who have not had previous treatment for cancer

Your healthcare provider will perform a test to make sure that IRESSA is right for you.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.

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Important Safety Information

Before taking IRESSA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • ever had liver problems
  • have vision or eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. IRESSA can harm your unborn baby.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use an effective method of birth control during treatment with IRESSA and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of IRESSA. You should avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant during treatment with IRESSA.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if IRESSA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with IRESSA. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during this time.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

If you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), H2 blocker, or an antacid medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to take it during treatment with IRESSA.

If you take a blood thinner called warfarin, your healthcare provider should do blood tests regularly to check how fast your blood clots, during treatment with IRESSA.

What are the possible side effects of IRESSA?

IRESSA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Lung or breathing problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the lung that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new or worsening lung problems, or any combination of the following symptoms: trouble breathing or shortness of breath, cough, or fever.
  • Liver problems. IRESSA may cause inflammation of the liver that may lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of a liver problem which may include: yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea colored) urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), decreased appetite, or pain on the right side of your stomach (abdomen).Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your liver function during your treatment with IRESSA.
  • A tear in the wall of your stomach or intestines (perforation). Get emergency medical help right away if you have severe stomach (abdomen) pain.
  • Diarrhea. Diarrhea is common with IRESSA and can sometimes be severe. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that will not go away.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you get watery eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes.
  • Skin reactions. Skin redness, rash, itching, and acne are common with IRESSA. This may occur on any part of your body. Get medical help right away if you develop severe skin reactions such as peeling or blistering of your skin.

IRESSA may cause fertility problems in females. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of IRESSA. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is IRESSA?

IRESSA is a prescription medicine used to treat people with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • that have certain types of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes, and
  • who have not had previous treatment for cancer

Your healthcare provider will perform a test to make sure that IRESSA is right for you.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.