The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 8, 2013
How can I deal with a family member who has been told she has lung cancer? How can I help her and myself?
Barbara Campling, MD, Medical Oncologist, responds:
One way to help would be to find out more about the type and stage of lung cancer that your family member has. There are a variety of types of lung cancer, but the most common groups are "small cell" and "non-small cell" lung cancer. The outlook depends on the stage of the cancer. For example, a Stage I non-small cell lung cancer can often be cured with surgery, whereas a Stage IV lung cancer is not curable with any form of treatment. You are off to a good start by visiting the OncoLink website. There is a wealth of information about cancer in general, as well as specifically about lung cancer. It is important that you talk to your relative, find out how she is feeling as a result of the illness and its treatment, and learn how she is coping with this serious diagnosis. When you start to understand what she is going though, then you will begin to think of ways to help. Your support at all stages will play an important role for your family member in what may be a difficult journey that lies ahead. By helping your relative, you will also be helping yourself.
Some helpful websites for support: