Thank you AstraZeneca for sponsoring this post. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Now more than ever, there is reason for hope. Please visit LIVE W.E.L.L. and LVNG With Lung Cancer for more information.
Sharing hope and raising awareness about lung cancer treatment options is an important personal cause to me. As many of you already know my mother started battling this awful disease in the summer of 2016. It’s my hope you will share this information as we rally together to spread the message of hope so others can learn and know more about the lung cancer treatment options available to them.
In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for
approximately 154,000 deaths each year and about one-quarter of all cancer deaths – more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined.
In 2018, an estimated 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer – that is three and a half times the number of seats in a typical professional football stadium.
Lung cancer treatment is a big decision, and patients deserve the best option for them from the get-go. Just as a team coach wants to draft the best player first rather than wait until a later draft round, there is no type of cancer where you shouldn’t choose your best option first for your specific type of disease. In order to get the best first, you have to test first.
Although a critical factor, the choice of treatment comes down to more than just the effectiveness of a medicine – it can also depend on if and where the cancer has spread, like the brain for example, and the safety, tolerability and convenience of a given therapy. All these factors can help dictate what the best option may be, with the goal of living significantly longer without tumors spreading, while being able to truly live life with lung cancer.
Given the complexity of these decisions, it is also very important for patients to have a comprehensive medical team that they trust, comprised of nurses, oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, and more. Each part of the medical team has a unique expertise and can provide critical insight throughout the treatment journey.
The bottom line is that patients should be their own advocates: get tested for the right treatment options, wait for the results and start on the best option first.
Our family has been able to rally together and help support our mom through the high and low periods of a devastating lung cancer diagnosis. We’ve been dealing with this disease for over two years and we all have learned a great deal of information about medical terms and lung cancer treatment options.
Lung cancer isn’t a one size fits all disease. Your options are many. Chemotherapy, radiation, Immunotherapy, surgery, and genetic testing are just a few of the medical terms that will become a familiar part of your vocabulary. Finding the right healthcare team and having others advocate with you can help ease some of the overwhelm that comes with a lung cancer diagnosis.
During Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, please join me in spreading a message of hope for all. The more we talk about lung cancer treatment options and share resources the more others can learn. If you know anyone navigating a lung cancer diagnosis, urge them to become their own advocate, understand their full diagnosis, and talk to their medical team about what lung cancer treatment options are right for them. Please visit LIVE W.E.L.L. and LVNG With Lung Cancer for more information.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.