“Hope” isn’t a word that’s often linked to lung cancer, but we believe it’s time to change that.. Because while the world has a long way to go before we banish stigma or improve survivorship, it’s clear that change is in the air, and that the lung cancer landscape, and awareness are evolving.
So let’s talk about it! As we count down to Lung Cancer Awareness Month, here are five hope-filled insights about the modern lung cancer experience.
- The lung cancer community has a lot of wisdom to share.
When it comes to comforting someone who’s going through a lung cancer diagnosis, there’s no substitute for peer support for lung cancer and the wisdom of a peer who’s lived through it themselves. That wisdom and sharing is one of the things that keep people coming back to our lung cancer support group month after month.
Luckily, Canadians living with lung cancer are now more willing to share their experiences publicly, too. You’ve already met a few through our Stop Asking the Wrong Question movement, which highlighted the devastating effects of stigma.
As we dive into Lung Cancer Awareness Month ’23, get ready to benefit from even more peer-to-peer wisdom that will help Canadians feel supported and empowered during the early days of their lung cancer journeys.
The bottom line: Nobody has to face lung cancer alone! Learn more about peer-to-peer support in lung cancer.
- You have more power than you think.
Early detection of lung cancer is everything. It can lead to more treatment options and a better prognosis. It’s why we’re exploring ways to improve lung cancer screening access, and it’s why our Lung Cancer Awareness Month initiatives are encouraging Canadians to speak up for themselves.
Self-advocacy can be truly lifesaving, but our research indicates that some Canadians live with nagging coughs for months or even years before bringing it up in the exam room.
What’s holding people back from taking their symptoms seriously? It’s usually a combination of fear and the (debunked!) idea that lung cancer is “a smoker’s disease”.
But if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer – and no matter what your history is, we are here to help you.
Yes, you can initiate a conversation about lung cancer with your health care provider! In fact, if you’re having symptoms, it’s vital. You have more power than you think, and we’re here to help.
The bottom line: Knowledge is power! When it comes to lung cancer, it’s better to know and know early. Explore the importance of early detection in lung cancer.
- An unstoppable wave of support is building.
Think there’s no community for people living with lung cancer? Think again.
When it comes to lung cancer patient support, it’s true that lung cancer has some catching up to do. The lingering effects of stigma – which you can read about in this 2021 report – have stifled some of the conversation around support and connection.
Thankfully, the tide is turning, and a growing wave of Canadians agree with us:
- Learn about the Lung Health Foundation’s monthly support circle
- Get to know Lung Cancer Canada’s group support, one-on-one support, and #HopeArmy movement
- Visit cancerconnection.ca, Canadian Cancer Society’s extensive online community
The bottom line: If you are living with lung cancer, support is waiting for you. Let us help connect you with otherswho understand! Discover lung cancer support communities that are here to help you.
- There are more treatment options than ever before.
The world is moving on from a “one size fits all” approach to modern lung cancer treatment, and that’s really good news!
One of the biggest modern breakthroughs in lung cancer treatment is the discovery that it’s not a single disease but dozens of diseases – each with their own molecular variation. Identifying these variations can open up new cancer-fighting possibilities in the form of targeted therapies.
Targeted therapies fight cancer cells through attacks on specific targets on or inside of them. Traditional treatments like chemotherapy, on the other hand, tend to attack healthy cells too.
Of course, access to the biomarker testing that unlocks these treatment options can be a challenge. But we’re on the case! Increasing access to biomarker testing is one of our advocacy initiatives.
The bottom line: For a person with lung cancer, targeted therapies can mean fewer side effects and a better quality of life – something unimaginable just a couple of decades ago! Learn more about personalized treatments for lung cancer.
- You can live with lung cancer, not just “deal with it”
Navigating, living or coping with a lung cancer diagnosis isn’t easy, especially at first. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even devastated. It’s normal to feel like your life is defined by lung cancer as you start to consider your options.
But you’re still you, and we see you.
There are more reasons than every to be hopeful about lung cancer. And with help from the lung cancer community, we hope to get you to a place where you can live with lung cancer, not just deal with it. Explore living positively with lung cancer.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2023
This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, learn about lung cancer from the real experts – the people who are living with it. Starting November 6th, we’re releasing a new video each week, with real advice from people with lived lung cancer experience.
Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.