Who Helps You with Your Lung Cancer?
Battling a chronic condition, like lung cancer, can be stressful and scary. Many individuals with lung cancer report feeling isolated or lonely, and finding a support system may be critical to emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing.1,2 This support may come from your healthcare provider or healthcare team, as well as from friends, family members, and support group members who have gone through similar situations. There are no limits to who (or what) you might find support in, and no option is better than any other. However, it is important to find others who will walk along with you in your journey, whether it be through treatments, appointments, tests, or even just navigating the struggles of everyday life.
Our 2018 Lung Cancer In America survey took a deeper look into the support systems of those with lung cancer. Over 800 individuals responded with their experiences, and the results were incredible.
Who is providing support?
Over 80% of participants said that they had at least one other person besides their healthcare team involved in the management of their lung cancer. The most common source of support reported was from spouses or significant others, with over 60% of respondents reporting that they seek aid in these individuals. Roughly 44% said that their child was actively involved in their cancer journey, and 24% said they had at least one friend involved in their care. Siblings, grandchildren, and parents were involved in about 18%, 13%, and 9% of respondents’ care, respectively, and 13% cited another relative or family member as being an active supporter. Peer counselors and support lines were utilized by about 3% of participants and 2% said they rely on a paid caregiver or home health professional. About 17% said no one else was involved in their lung cancer management aside from their healthcare team.
What kind of support is received?
Common forms of support received, according to 30% or more of respondents, include providing emotional support and transportation to doctors’ or treatment appointments. Additionally, over 20% said that they receive help with household duties, taking notes during medical appointments, and understanding medical care, as well as help in selecting medications or treatment plans. When it comes to areas of support that are still needed, nearly 25% of respondents said that they are lacking when it comes to emotional support, household duties, and finding coping strategies or stress management techniques.
What does the community say?
We asked our community to tell us who helps them most when it comes to their lung cancer journey...
Encouragment from loved ones
“My husband. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
“My wife has been by my side from day one”
“My husband, daughter, grands, and family.”
“My wonderful friends and family, they are the best.”
“Aside from Jesus Christ, my caregiver (spouse and soulmate for 41 years) and too many to mention by name who were compelled to help me financially for travel, housing and meals. I am blessed no matter what.”
A supportive healthcare team
“My ‘angels’ and, of course, my doctors, oncologists, and nurses.”
“My lung group and nurses.”
It takes a village
“A lot of good and generous folk.”
“God and my family and my fantastic oncologist and his nurses and staff.”
“So many people! My daughter, a nurse, is always there for me. She answers all the dumb questions I have, and pre-triages all the weird symptoms and lets me know if I should call the doctor. I’m thankful for all my family and friends, and that includes my medical team.”
Who gives you strength?
It’s obvious from these responses that support is so welcomed, and needed, when battling lung cancer. Let us know who helps you along your journey.
Have you had biomarker testing done?