A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. With time you'll find ways to cope with the distress and uncertainty of cancer. Until then, you may find it helps to:
Sept. 25, 2015
- Learn enough about lung cancer to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about your lung cancer, including your treatment options and, if you like, your prognosis. As you learn more about lung cancer, you may become more confident in making treatment decisions.
- Keep friends and family close. Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your lung cancer. Friends and family can provide the practical support you'll need, such as helping take care of your house if you're in the hospital. And they can serve as emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.
Find someone to talk with. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to you talk about your hopes and fears. This may be a friend or family member. The concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support group also may be helpful.
Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, library or a cancer organization, such as the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.
- Non-small cell lung cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Estimated new cancer cases and deaths by sex, U.S., 2015. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2015/index. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Small cell lung cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancer of the lung. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- What you need to know about lung cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/wyntk-lung-cancer. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Lung cancer prevention (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/lung-prevention-pdq. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Aberle DR, et al. Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomographic screening. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;365:395.
- Detterbeck FC, et al. Diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed.: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2013;143(suppl):7S.
- AskMayoExpert. Non-small cell lung cancer. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Small cell lung cancer. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2015.
- Cairns LM. Managing breathlessness in patients with lung cancer. Nursing Standard. 2012;27:44.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/taking-time. Accessed Aug. 27, 2015.
- Temel JS, et al. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363:733.