Information for caregivers

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Small cell lung cancer doesn’t simply affect the person with cancer. Family and friends play an important role in the care of a loved one.

Caregiver Tips 1 for ES-SCLC

Your role as a caregiver

You play an important role in your loved one’s treatment journey. Being a caregiver means that you may have to be there for a loved one who has been there for you. Your help can make this difficult time a little easier for your loved one. You may find the information and resources below useful in your care.

Here are some tips on how you may be able to help support your loved one throughout their journey:


  • Talk to your loved one. Make sure they know you want to help and that communication is key
  • Offer to go with your loved one to medical appointments
  • Communicate with the entire healthcare team

Information Gathering

  • As a caregiver, you can act as an extra set of eyes and ears. Ask important questions and gather information to share with your loved one
  • Offer to help your loved one note any changes in symptoms or side effects
  • Keep track of medical information and paperwork
  • Find out if there are any special instructions and treatment tips that the healthcare team recommends

Emotional Support

  • Try to keep a positive attitude—it is beneficial for your loved one and for you
  • Spend time together and do things that remind you both that you have a relationship separate from your loved one’s diagnosis
  • Encourage your loved one to engage in the activities they like as much as possible
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Caregiver Tips 2 for ES-SCLC

The value of communication

Communication with your loved one is one of the most valuable tools you have

The more you know about how your loved one is feeling, the better prepared you will be to help them. Your support is valuable, and sometimes just being there to talk and listen can make a big difference.

Here are some different ways to help create a healthy dialogue:

  • Ask if it’s a good time to talk
  • Be supportive, listen, and avoid interrupting
  • Think about what you will say in advance
  • Speak from the heart
  • Remember that you can have more than one talk
  • Don’t always say, “It’ll be okay”
SCLC Caregiver Self-Care

Taking care of yourself

You play an essential role in the TECENTRIQ journey. Taking care of yourself is an important step towards ensuring that you're taking care of your loved one.

Below are some tips that may help you avoid feeling overwhelmed:

  • Keep a journal to organize thoughts and create memories
  • Have regular doctor checkups
  • Know your limits and be realistic about the time and energy you can give
  • Find time to relax and do what you enjoy
  • Go easy on yourself and focus on positive things you are doing for your loved one
  • Consider routines that can improve your mood and energy
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help; your family or friends can be your first resource
  • Consider joining a support group or talking to a counselor

We’ve developed a downloadable guide with information for caregivers.

Organizations and support groups

Organizations and support groups

Find cancer-related organizations that can provide you with information, support, and advocacy.

TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) Financial Assistance

Financial assistance options

Genentech Access Solutions is a program that helps people who are taking Genentech medicine.

Important Safety Information and Indication



TECENTRIQ is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with:

A type of lung cancer called small cell lung cancer (SCLC). TECENTRIQ may be used with the chemotherapy medicines carboplatin and etoposide as your first treatment when your lung cancer:

  • is a type called “extensive-stage small cell lung cancer,” which means that it has spread or grown.

It is not known if TECENTRIQ is safe and effective in children.

What is the most important information about TECENTRIQ?
TECENTRIQ can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. You can have more than one of these problems at the same time. These problems may happen anytime during your treatment or even after your treatment has ended.

Call or see your healthcare provider right away if you develop any new or worse signs or symptoms, including:

Lung problems

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain

Intestinal problems

  • diarrhea (loose stools) or more frequent bowel movements than usual
  • stools that are black, tarry, sticky, or have blood or mucus
  • severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness

Liver problems

  • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen)
  • dark urine (tea colored)
  • bleeding or bruising more easily than normal

Hormone gland problems

  • headaches that will not go away or unusual headaches 
  • eye sensitivity to light 
  • eye problems 
  • rapid heartbeat 
  • increased sweating 
  • extreme tiredness 
  • weight gain or weight loss 
  • feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual
  • urinating more often than usual 
  • hair loss 
  • feeling cold 
  • constipation 
  • your voice gets deeper 
  • dizziness or fainting 
  • changes in mood or behavior, such as decreased sex drive, irritability, or forgetfulness

Kidney problems

  • decrease in your amount of urine 
  • blood in your urine
  • swelling of your ankles 
  • loss of appetite

Skin problems

  • rash 
  • itching 
  • skin blistering or peeling
  • painful sores or ulcers in mouth or nose, throat, or genital area 
  • fever or flu-like symptoms 
  • swollen lymph nodes

Problems can also happen in other organs.
These are not all of the signs and symptoms of immune system problems that can happen with TECENTRIQ. Call or see your healthcare provider right away for any new or worse signs or symptoms, including:

  • Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or swelling of ankles
  • Confusion, sleepiness, memory problems, changes in mood or behavior, stiff neck, balance problems, tingling or numbness of the arms or legs
  • Double vision, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, eye pain, changes in eyesight
  • Persistent or severe muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps
  • Low red blood cells, bruising

Infusion reactions that can sometimes be severe or life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include:

  • chills or shaking 
  • itching or rash 
  • flushing 
  • shortness of breath or wheezing
  • dizziness 
  • feeling like passing out 
  • fever 
  • back or neck pain

Complications, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in people who have received a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic). These complications can be serious and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with TECENTRIQ. Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these complications.

Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your healthcare provider will check you for these problems during your treatment with TECENTRIQ. Your healthcare provider may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. Your healthcare provider may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with TECENTRIQ if you have severe side effects.

Before you receive TECENTRIQ, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus
  • have received an organ transplant
  • have received or plan to receive a stem cell transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic)
  • have received radiation treatment to your chest area
  • have a condition that affects your nervous system, such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. TECENTRIQ can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant during treatment with TECENTRIQ. Females who are able to become pregnant:
    • Your healthcare provider should do a pregnancy test before you start treatment with TECENTRIQ.
    • You should use an effective method of birth control during your treatment and for at least 5 months after the last dose of TECENTRIQ.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TECENTRIQ passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment and for at least 5 months after the last dose of TECENTRIQ.

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

The most common side effects of TECENTRIQ when used in lung cancer with other anti-cancer medicines include:

  • feeling tired or weak
  • nausea
  • hair loss
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • decreased appetite

TECENTRIQ may cause fertility problems in females, which may affect the ability to have children. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns about fertility.

These are not all the possible side effects of TECENTRIQ. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information about the benefits and side effects of TECENTRIQ.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or
You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional Important Safety Information.