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Found 20 results

  1. Any thoughts/Experience?? High doses of vitamin C to improve cancer treatment passes human safety trial https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170330142341.htm
  2. After 3 weeks of research, my take on "standard" treatments for limited-stage SCLC is as follows: (surgery not possible) 1st-line treatment - Concurrent chemoradiation with Cisplatin + Etoposide (CE) + local radiation. Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation ( PCI) is called soon after treatment if complete or partial response is noted. 2d-line treatment - Original chemotherapy (CE) for relapse > 6 months. Topotecan chemotherapy for relapse < 6 months. A possible alternative to Topotecan is CE + Irinotecan chemotherapy but additional toxicities occur; individuals must be in very good health. 3rd-line treatment and beyond - Nivolumab (OPDIVO) or Nivolumab + Ipilimumab (YERVOY) or Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA) immunotherapy. Please note that I put quotes around the word standard. There are no standards after 1st-line treatment, only FDA approvals and typical recommendations. My personal opinion of Topotecan is not good based on literature comments about poor response rates. My hope is that my wife has a complete or partial response for greater than 6 months where Topotecan appears to fall by the wayside. For 2nd-line treatment < 6 months, I hope my wife's onc is thinking immunotherapy. Note that all post 1st-line treatments above appear suitable for extensive-stage SCLC. I'm not a doctor and my research may be flawed so please don't take my comments above as gospel. I believe I can now talk somewhat intelligently about "standard" treatments with my wife's onc. I will certainly put the burden on him to explain why or why not. I can always ask for a second and third opinion. 2 other things are fascinating to me - Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) ... thx Tom ... and Lurbinectedin. However, there appears to be very little discussion on realistic use of SBRT and stage III SCLC (>5cm). It may be a hard sell to my wife's onc and radiation doctors. Lurbinectedin is only in trial stage. If you spot something that is incorrect or you believe the literature says otherwise, please comment. Any thoughts on the various treatments would be welcomed. Steve
  3. Anyone have experience dealing with stage 4 non small cell lung cancer, KRAS mutation and low PDL-1 expressor? My husband had surgery just over a year ago where a tumour was removed in lower and middle right lung. He now has 10+ micro nodules in his left lung. I realize this is a long shot. I’m new to this forum. thanks.
  4. Here is the weekly clip report: Cure “Lung Cancer Care Becoming More Personalized and Trials will Too” https://www.curetoday.com/articles/lung-cancer-care-becoming-more-personalized-and-trials-will-too Cancer Therapy Advisor “Lurbinectedin Receives FDA Orphan Drug Status for Recurrent Small-Cell Lung Cancer” https://www.cancertherapyadvisor.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-nsclc-lurbinecedin-fda-oprhan-drug-status-treatment/article/786009/ U.S. News – Health “What to Know about Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines” https://www.nga.org/governors/addresses/ Healio “Minimally Invasive Surgery Effective for Early-Stage Lung Cancer” https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/lung-cancer/news/in-the-journals/{924a7fc0-fcda-4ffb-bad7-4f2cb101c1db}/minimally-invasive-surgery-effective-for-early-stage-lung-cancer Onc Live “Dr. Witsuba on Biomarkers for Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer” https://www.onclive.com/onclive-tv/dr-wistuba-on-biomarkers-for-immunotherapy-in-lung-cancer Drug Target Review “Reducing NOVA1 Helps prevents Tumour Growth in Lung Cancer” https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/34089/reducing-nova1-lung-cancer/ Science Daily “Finally, a Potential New Approach against KRAS-Driven Lung Cancer” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180809093458.htm Oncology Nurse Advisor “New PDL1 Inhibitors for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Focus on Pembrolizumab” https://www.oncologynurseadvisor.com/lung-cancer/pdl1-inhibitors-for-nsclc-focus-on-pembrolizumab/article/787627/
  5. For the past 11 years, I’ve helped treat lung cancer patients as an RN in a cardiothoracic practice. Then last October, I developed a bad cough that lasted over a month. It was cold season, and my co-workers and I thought it might be pneumonia or even bronchitis. No one suspected it could be lung cancer, since I’m a nonsmoker and haven’t been exposed to common risk factors like asbestos, radon, or pollution. I had a chest ray taken, which showed fluid around my right lung. The tests of the fluid didn’t uncover anything extraordinary. I didn’t look sick, but I felt fatigued and at times, I had difficulty breathing. A few days later, I had a CT scan, which supported the pneumonia diagnosis, but it also showed a thickening on my chest wall. The doctors drained the fluid and tested it twice. Both times, the results came back negative for cancer cells. This didn’t completely rule out the possibility, but it gave us reasons to be hopeful. I started taking antibiotics and steroids, which were prescribed by a pulmonologist. But the second CT scan did not show any improvement. My first surgery was scheduled for late January. The doctors thought I had an infection and that they’d be able to clean it out. But during surgery, they discovered growths in my lung that had expanded into my chest wall. The hospital lab confirmed that it was lung cancer. My boss, cardiothoracic surgeon Carmine Frumiento, and my colleague, Danielle George, a longtime friend and physician assistant who I work with every day, had to give me, my husband, and my family the heartbreaking news that I have advanced lung cancer. It sounded so surreal that at first, I thought I was dreaming. I have a 6-year old daughter and a 2-year old son. All of the sudden, I went from being a care provider to being a patient. I had the surgery, and then later that week, I traveled to Massachusetts General Hospital to meet with some of the best specialists in the country. Danielle traveled to Boston with me and my husband, Chris. Before we left, Danielle and Dr. Frumiento helped us prepare a list of questions to ask the doctors at Mass. General. The doctors at MGH recommended starting a new targeted therapy without chemo or radiation. The results have been very promising on patients with my genetic mutation. But since the medication is so new, my insurance would not pay for it unless I tried an older treatment first. In order for her insurance to approve the new treatment, I would have to progress on the old treatment, or suffer from intolerable side effects. It felt like I was on an emotional roller-coaster. Fortunately, my colleagues helped me appeal the insurance company’s decision, and we won. I still work as a nurse, but I’ve cut down to just mornings, since I get very tired by the afternoon. I’m very grateful for the support of my work friends, who have become like extended family. They’ve helped to make sure I’m getting the best care. I realize that not all patients have those strong connections, and how important it is to advocate for yourself. I’ve been fortunate to have incredible support from my family, friends, and community. They’ve helped with everything from meals to child care to raising funds to help pay for my medical expenses. And my family was selected as the beneficiary of the Celebration of Courage Co-ed Hockey Tournament earlier this month. My husband has played in the tournament for many years to help support and raise funds for families affected by cancer. Now, our family is affected by cancer. It is likely that my cancer will never go away, but I have been told that the genetic mutation cannot be passed down to my children. The goal is to turn my cancer into a manageable chronic disease that I can live with until better treatments are available. I hope my story will raise awareness that lung cancer can happen to anyone, even young nonsmokers. It’s a fact I never fully realized myself, until I was diagnosed. There is so much blame and stigma surrounding lung cancer. I want to help raise awareness about the resources that are available for anyone who is diagnosed.
  6. Join LUNGevity Foundation for a Twitter chat about Palliative Care: What it is and what it isn't. We'll answer questions and dispel myths about palliative care for lung cancer patients. Be part of the conversation on Wednesday, April 4, at 8:00PM ET. Use #LCCaregiver to join or follow the conversation. For more information about palliative care, visit LUNGevity's Lung Cancer 101 website.
  7. Today I completed the first 5 days of my 10 days of PCI , a preventative step to reduce risk of brain Mets associated with Small Cell. This is a low dose whole brain radiation (25 Gy in 10 fractions (2.5 Gy per session) treatment. Prior to beginning treatment, I received comprehensive brain imaging via MRI (standard and custom views/slices). The rationale for this was twofold. 1) Give me more information to support my decisioning process (I.e. do or not do PCI) and 2) ensure no existing Mets were detected and if so be positioned to start stereotactic radiotherapy (targeted vs. whole brain radiation). My MRI came back clean (no Mets detected) which was a relief. One area of concern even with this low radiation dosage is the risk of neurocognitive impairment over time (decline in short term memory is frequently mentioned). There are a number of studies that have looked at this, and my Radiation Oncologist reviewed the pros, cons, risks, and rewards to having PCI. She also offered (if i chose) to prescribe Memantine to be taken during and following PCI treatment (not permanent). This drug (which is more usually associated with Alzheimer treatment) is said to help support memory, awareness etc., and has been used in some clinical trials with some positive indications. So with all that I elected to have PCI with Memantine included as part of my treatment. My first 5 days/treatments have been fairly uneventful- some moderate fatigue, periodic sour stomach (lasts a couple hours after taking medication), and some skin redness on neck & head. I was advised to reduce the running/jogging and weight lifting portions of my exercise during treatment and get as much rest/sleep as possible, which I’m doing. P.S. I am also doing daily brain exercises for lack of a better term. The free version of Lumosity, and online tests/exercises through Cambridge Brain Tests (also free when you set up an account) are among some tools I’m using to exercise my brain. Getting some brain drills in place will I believe help me as I go through this treatment and whatever else may come my way in the future. Plus they’re a lot of fun, and you can track your progress. Im grateful PCI was an option for me & hope this information may be helpful to others. Happy to answer any questions about this, my SCLC diagnosis, treatments etc.
  8. LUNGevity is proud to announce that the Foundation is serving on three subcommittees of Sustainable Healthy Communities, LLC, founded by the National Minority Quality Forum. As one of two US patient advocacy organizations on the Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group (CWG), LUNGevity will bring years of expertise in supporting the lung cancer community to the Cancer Index Subcommittee, the Community and Patient Engagement Subcommittee, and the Diversity in Clinical Research Subcommittee. “We are proud to work with LUNGevity on the Cancer Working Group, given the importance of always asking for and listening to the patient point of view,” said Jeanne M. Regnante, Chair of the CWG. The overarching goal of the Working Group is to ‘spotlight existing inequities in order to identify and deliver solutions to eliminate barriers to lung cancer screening, referral to appropriate healthcare providers, access to treatment, care, support and inclusive cancer research for all.’ Members of the SHC Working Group include national leaders in pharmaceuticals, government, academia, patient advocacy organizations and life sciences. “We’re especially honored to be working with SHC and its partners on eliminating disparities in detection and treatment for cancer patients,” said Andrea Ferris, CEO of LUNGevity. “To achieve our vision of a world where no one dies of lung cancer, we continually strive to identify unreached populations and supply them with information and tools they need to improve their access to care.” Ms. Ferris will be a speaker at the 2018 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and Spring Health Braintrust in Washington, DC this April. She and Upal Basu Roy, PhD, MPH, LUNGevity Director of Translational Research Program/Director of Patient FoRCe, will represent the Foundation on the three subcommittees and all future initiatives. Click here to read the full press release.
  9. Here is the weekly clip report: PR Newswire “American College of Chest Physicians Publishes New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines” https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-college-of-chest-physicians-publishes-new-lung-cancer-screening-guidelines-300589650.html The ASCO Post “Durvalumab Takes a Giant Leap into Stage III NSCLC” http://www.ascopost.com/issues/january-25-2018/durvalumab-takes-a-giant-leap-into-stage-iii-nsclc/ EurekAlert! “New Radiation Techniques Could Improve Quality of Life for Lung Cancer Patients” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/lhri-nrt012918.php Medical Xpress “Expert Panel Issues New Guidelines for Lung Cancer Molecular Testing” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-01-expert-panel-issues-guidelines-lung.html KETV-TV “Radon Awareness Month: Lung Cancer Survivor Thinks Radon Caused It” http://www.ketv.com/article/radon-awareness-month-lung-cancer-survivor-thinks-radon-caused-it/15893580 Oncology Nursing News “Socioeconomic Disparity in Lung Cancer Care” http://www.oncnursingnews.com/web-exclusives/socioeconomic-disparity-in-lung-cancer-care OncLive “Treatment of Locally Advanced NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/insights/multimodal-advanced-nsclc/treatment-of-locally-advanced-nsclc OncLive “Treatment of Early-Stage NSCLC” http://www.onclive.com/insights/multimodal-advanced-nsclc/treatment-of-early-stage-nsclc Cure Today “Who Wears the Face of Cancer?” https://www.curetoday.com/community/bonnie-annis/2018/01/who-wears-the-face-of-cancer Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “LUNGevity Foundation Announces Initiative to Save Lives Through Increased Adherence to Lung Cancer Screening” http://markets.post-gazette.com/postgazette/news/read/35699542/lungevity_foundation_announces_initiative_to_save_lives_through_increased_adherence_to_lung_cancer_screening EurekAlert! “Small Molecule Plays a Big Role in Reducing Cancer’s Spread” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-01/mcog-smp013018.php KIMT-TV “Lung Cancer Survivor Heads to Super Bowl 52” http://www.kimt.com/content/news/Lung-cancer-survivor-heads-to-Super-Bowl-52-471847253.html The New York Times “After a Cancer Diagnosis, Playing the Odds” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/well/live/after-a-cancer-diagnosis-playing-the-odds.html Targeted Oncology “Will Combination Therapy with Immunotherapy Become the New Standard of Care for NSCLC?” http://www.targetedonc.com/news/will-combination-therapies-with-immunotherapy-become-the-new-standard-of-care-for-nsclc MIT News “Fine-Tuning Cancer Medicine” http://news.mit.edu/2018/fine-tuning-cancer-medicine-0201 Medical Xpress “Early Access to Palliative Care Associated with Better Quality of Life” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-early-access-palliative-quality-life.html Medical Xpress “Clinical Trial Tests Feasibility of Targeting Particular Classes of Tumor Types with Certain Drugs” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-clinical-trial-feasibility-classes-tumor.html
  10. The treatment landscape of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is rapidly evolving, with the development of genetically targeted therapies and immunotherapy. Since 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved nine new drugs for the treatment of NSCLC, three reapprovals, and six new indications for an existing treatment. However, the side effects and toxicities of these treatments can be significant. With the emergence of new treatment options for lung cancer, the complexity of treatment decisions for people living with lung cancer has increased. With these treatment options come unaddressed questions: What do patients really want from their treatment? Better quality of life? Extended survival? Other benefits? With this in mind, LUNGevity launched Project Transform in partnership with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, to focus on developing and applying novel methods (eg, discrete-choice experiments) to scientifically quantify patient preferences for the benefits and risks of treatments for lung cancer. The results obtained from this initiative will be used to inform regulators, industry, and clinicians of the preferences of people living with lung cancer. Your Voice Matters! LUNGevity wants to learn more about what patients (and their caregivers) want from their treatments. Please take this quick survey: https://www.lungevity.org/research/patient-focused-research-center-patient-force/deriving-patient-preferences-project-3
  11. FDA Grants Genentech’s Alecensa Priority Review for Initial Treatment of People with ALK-Positive Lung Cancer South San Francisco, CA -- August 2, 2017 -- Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) and granted Priority Review for Alecensa® (alectinib) as an initial (first-line) treatment for people with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as detected by an FDA-approved test. The FDA will make a decision on approval by November 30, 2017. “Phase III results showed Alecensa reduced the risk of disease worsening by more than half compared to the current standard of care and lowered the risk of tumors spreading to or growing in the brain by more than 80 percent,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “We are working closely with the FDA to bring this medicine as an initial treatment for people with ALK-positive NSCLC as soon as possible.” This sNDA submission for Alecensa is based on results from the Phase III ALEX and Phase III J-ALEX studies. A Priority Review designation is granted to proposed medicines that, if approved, the FDA has determined to have the potential to provide a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a serious disease. Alecensa received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA in September 2016 for the treatment of adults with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who have not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor. Breakthrough Therapy Designation is designed to expedite the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious or life-threatening diseases and to help ensure people have access to them through FDA approval as soon as possible. Breakthrough Therapy Designation was granted on the basis of the Phase III J-ALEX trial. Alecensa was granted accelerated approval by the FDA in December 2015 for the treatment of people with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib. The ALEX study is part of the company’s commitment in the U.S. to convert the current accelerated approval of Alecensa in people with ALK-positive, metastatic NSCLC who have progressed on or are intolerant to crizotinib to a full approval as an initial treatment. Read the full press release here.
  12. Hello everyone. My uncle was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 3. Surgery is not an option, nor is radiation treatment. His only option is chemotherapy. He attempted to obtain a visa to the US in order to get treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas but was denied the visa. He is now considering cancer centers in Germany. I have attempted to research the rankings of cancer centers in Germany, but have come to no conclusive result. I was wondering if anyone knows of a reputable cancer center (perhaps one that is particularly known for lung cancer) in Germany, based on past experiences or perhaps by word of mouth. Thank you all for your time.
  13. Jg_miller

    Alimta

    Any body on Alimta? Side effects, success stories, etc. I start next Monday on alimta. First chemo platinum, then opdivo.
  14. Hi: I am 52 years old and waiting for my biopsy results that I should have tomorrow. My Pulmonologist has stated to me that he believes this is Lung Cancer and a very aggressive form of it. He stated this again after doing the Bronchosopy. He took a lot of tissue when he was in there. I had a PET scan yesterday and should get those results tomorrow as well. Brain MRI scheduled the week after next (earliest I could get in). I have been searching the web for reasons to do, or not to do, Radiation and Chemotherapy. I am single with no SO or real family to speak of. This really is all about me. As this disease at the Stage III/IV is almost unbeatable. I am thinking more about the quality of the time I have left then the length of it. Thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
  15. LUNGEVITY FOUNDATION INTRODUCES A NEW MOBILE APP TO HELP PATIENTS UNDERSTAND AND MANAGE LIFE WITH LUNG CANCER Lung Cancer Navigator is a Customized Communication Hub that Puts Education, Care Management and Personal Support in the Palm of Your Hand PR Newswire, WASHINGTON, DC (January 11, 2017) Click here to view the multimedia press release. LUNGevity, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization today launched a new mobile application designed to make understanding and living with lung cancer less daunting and considerably more manageable. The new Lung Cancer Navigator mobile app provides lung cancer patients with access to the latest medical and treatment information related to their specific lung cancer diagnosis, and serves as a convenient hub for organizing customized care and support networks, asking questions, describing and tracking symptoms, and managing multiple medications. Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, with more than 1.8 million new cases diagnosed each year. The LUNGevity Lung Cancer Navigator app provides tools and forums to help those coping with the disease (including caregivers and support network members) communicate important details in real time, while handling care management needs with efficiency, medical guidance and less stress. “When someone receives a lung cancer diagnosis, it can be overwhelming,” said Andrea Ferris, President of LUNGevity Foundation. “Our goal with the LUNGevity Lung Cancer Navigator app is to empower patients and provide them with a forum for connecting to customized information and a support community that helps them navigate life with understanding and much less fear.” While lung cancer can affect anyone regardless of gender or ethnicity, only 18% of people diagnosed with the disease survive five years or more. LUNGevity Foundation strives to change outcomes for people living with lung cancer through research, education, support and advocacy. Through the LUNGevity Lung Cancer Navigator app, LUNGevity Foundation aims to provide patients and caregivers with a greater sense of empowerment, understanding and improved management of personal diagnostic, treatment and appointment information. The LUNGevity Lung Cancer Navigator was developed through an educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb. LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Navigator Mobile App is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices. For more information and to view a demonstration video, visit https://www.lungevity.org/. About Lung Cancer: 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime More than 224,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year About 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers Lung cancer kills more people than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and pancreatic) combined Only 18% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it's caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically About LUNGevity Foundation: LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org. ### Press Contact: Cynthia Inácio 212-561-7476 [email protected]
  16. Good afternoon, LCSC members! Every Friday, I will start sharing a weekly clip report in this forum. I encourage you to reply to each thread to let us know what kind of news stories are most interesting/relevant to you. I'll post the first weekly clip report this Friday, December 16! With gratitude, Lauren -- Digital Community Manager LUNGevity Foundation
  17. until
    On Saturday, September 10th, in Chicago, Illinois, Patient Power and LUNGevity will hold a free in-person town meeting at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University—one of the world’s most respected centers recognized for providing exemplary patient care and innovative advancements. At this meeting, you and your loved one will hear the latest in both research and treatment from leading lung cancer experts. The meeting will also be broadcast live online. During this interactive town meeting, you will have the opportunity to meet and connect with medical experts, other patients, survivors and care partners touched by lung cancer. Our hope is that participants will pool their knowledge, so you can gain more insight and become more empowered to make YOUR best treatment choices in lung cancer. Please join us in-person for this FREE interactive town meeting to learn: What information do you need UP FRONT to make decisions about treatment? Who is biomarker testing right for? How might I get information about clinical trials? How to live your best life with lung cancer How to cope with financial, emotional and lifestyle issues Tips and resources for care partners Our expert panel will take your questions, and patient advocates will be on hand to offer support and connection to a variety of resources. AGENDA 9:30 - 10:00 AM Registration | Connecting With Other Lung Cancer Patients and Care Partners 10:00 - 10:45 AM Current and Novel Treatment Options for Lung Cancer 10:45 - 11:30 AMUnderstanding Biomarker Testing in Lung Cancer 11:30 - 11:45 AMMeet the Patient Panel 11:45 - 12:30 PMLunch Provided 12:30 - 1:00 PMResources and Strategies for Living Well With Lung Cancer 1:00 - 2:00 PMInteractive Q&A Session *All times listed are for the Central time zone. For more information, or to register online, click here.
  18. I finished my chemo last Friday and got to ring the bell! But now the hardest part starts for me - waiting for the first post-treatment CT scheduled for July 1st. I'm an anxious person on a good day, so I would love to hear how any of you survive the period between scans. My wonderful oncologist said that if the CT is clear, I won't have to have another one for 6 months.
  19. Cancer patients get a unique appreciation and understanding of the medical profession by the very nature of our disease. At the minimum, we interact with our GP, Oncologist or Radiologist, and a brace of medical testing and treatment nurses and technicians. This experience base gives us a lot of insight into the profession. Here is a synthesis of the insight I've accumulated over the years. Never go to a diagnostic "results revealed" medical consultation alone. If you don't understand the words the doctor uses, ask them to re-explain without the "medical/techno-speak." Tell the doctor your special circumstances or medical needs before hospitalization or infusion treatment. Ask these be captured in the admitting orders. Ask to see the admitting orders at admission or before first procedures. Don't get admitted if the order does not cover your special circumstance. Most procedures can be painless or discomfort can be minimized but you need to ask for relief before the procedure. For example, ask for a lidocaine injection before IV insertion or for Xanax to reduce anxiety during scans. These are examples of special circumstances that should be discussed with the ordering doctor at the time he orders the procedure. Don't be afraid to complain. Be kind at first but if the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, add anger. Remember, you are paying for all this and you are a customer as well as a patient. People in the medical profession are like people in any profession. Some are good and some are not so good. The difference is medical professionals have unique authority and special powers that say a consulting engineer or a lawyer will not have. To get prospective on a new medical professional, pay attention to how he or she interacts with the office or clinical staff. They won't treat you any better than the people they work with every day. The best doctors treat people, not patients. Try and find ways to remind them you are a person. Tell them you are afraid or uncertain, for example, to help them recall they are dealing with a human being. I always find a way to ask if they pray before a procedure. Most medical professionals, unless also cancer survivors, won't have any idea how or what you are feeling. Tell them before, during and after a procedure.
  20. This is my story of survival. It tells of an encounter with a disease of death - lung cancer - and significant life after, a very precious and rare thing. Who I am is unimportant; what I've experience is: eleven plus years of treatment and survival. These words are set down for but one reason - to raise a call to arms to fund lung cancer research. Enough have suffered. It is time for change. I am not a doctor; indeed I possess little medical knowledge. I am, however, a very experienced and long-tenured lung cancer patient. That gives me a unique prospective on the disease that kills more, many times more, than any other type of cancer. I'll avoid statistics. They are readily available form any number of reputable resources. But, I have a firm belief that lung cancer research is poorly funded because it is considered a self-induced disease. I believe my cancer was caused directly by cigarette smoke. I recall a time when many of my peers smoked but they stopped well before middle age. I couldn't. I am addicted to nicotine. Every time I'd try cessation, the addiction would draw me back. Of course, people make a choice to take up smoking but that choice is made primarily when we are young and influenced by peer behavior. Young people do dangerous things. Consult the ubiquitous YouTube "fail videos" for validation. However, there are other disease that we choose to give ourselves. Consider Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as just one example. Yes, some acquire it from medical transfusion or inadvertent needle sticks, but most are afflicted as a result of a behavior choice. HIV is described as a world-wide pandemic. It may be and in the US to address this largely self-induced disease, we invested $3.074 billion (billion with a B in 2012 for research. Consider further, we spent $1.052 billion on drug abuse funding and that is clearly self-inducted. Compare these with $314.6 million invested in lung cancer research (NIH Data). We spend about 10 times more on HIV/AIDS than lung cancer and drug abuse research garners 3.4 times more funding! In 2012, 47,989 people were diagnosed with HIV infection and about 13,834 died. In that same year, about 226,160 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and 160,340 died! Lung cancer kills 5 times more than HIV in the US. Lung cancer should be our pandemic! In 1998, the US and State Attorney's General entered into a Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to collectively settle filed law suites against tobacco companies. This yielded $206 billion over a 25-year period. How much of that is dedicated to lung cancer research? About 0.065% or just over $1 billion is earmarked for federal research. Where does the money go? That is a very good question. We need to SCREAM about this inequity. If you are reading this, you are likely suffering from lung cancer or have a family member or close friend suffering. You've read or seen TV news coverage about the horrors of HIV/AIDS but thankfully, it is a problem most American families do not encounter. Yes there is a stigma of self-affliction for lung cancer but the same stigma should attach to HIV/AIDS. It does not and I wonder why my disease is so under accommodated! We speak of those who suffer or pass from lung cancer as engaged in battle. There is no battle for engaging in battle entails a choice. One can retreat. When diagnosed with lung cancer there are but two choices: treatment or death. Statistically for lung cancer, there is treatment and death! Treatment borders on barbarism that is repetitively endured, with uncertain outcomes, and with death looming closely. I was and still am to some degree overwhelmed by fear. I still get scanned once a year and the time between diagnostic scan and results is a nightmare to endure. My treatments nearly killed me, several times. I survived, not knowing why. My survival is hope for those who suffer, particularly for those 230,000 Americans who will receive a lung cancer diagnosis this year. If I can survive, so can you. But, we ought not rely on hope as an effective treatment method. We collectively need to speak out to those that decide on allocations of disease research dollars. Engage your elected officials. Ask them why they continue to under allocate research funding for our disease. Remind them that between 15 and 18-percent of lung cancer diagnosis arise from people who never smoke. Ask them if they are willing to rely on hope if they receive a lung cancer diagnosis.
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