Lung Cancer: Newly Diagnosed
Being told you have lung cancer can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your healthcare team to help.
Coping with fear
It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about your cancer and about the treatment choices you have can make you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your healthcare team and make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.
Working with your healthcare team
You will likely have different types of doctors on your healthcare team. These might include:
Thoracic surgeon. This is a doctor who uses surgery to treat diseases of the lungs, including cancer.
Medical oncologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
Radiation oncologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat cancer with radiation.
Pulmonologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat diseases of the lungs.
Many other healthcare professionals will be part of your team as well. They will answer any questions you may have. They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.
Learning about treatment choices
To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about your cancer. This may involve getting tests and working with more than one healthcare provider. And you may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment. Your doctor should be able to help you with this. Clinical trials may be another treatment option you want to talk to your doctor about. These are studies looking at treatments that may work better than the treatments used today.
Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also visit support groups to talk with other people coping with lung cancer. Ask your healthcare team about local support groups.
June 21, 2018
Gersten, Todd, MD,Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS