Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer with more than 2,000,000 people diagnosed worldwide each year and is the leading cause of cancer death globally.1-3 From patient and their families to advocates and oncologists, everyone has a unique perspective of lung cancer and their own story to tell.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2019
Lung cancer is commonly perceived to be a smokers’ disease that affects the elderly, but the disease also affects younger ex-smokers and even those who have never smoked. This misconception can be a barrier to early diagnosis and effective treatment.
To increase awareness and understanding of this complex disease, and help drive improved outcomes for patients, we are sharing the different experiences and perspectives that people have of lung cancer and the impact it has on people’s lives.
A family perspective
Like any serious illness, lung cancer has a far-reaching impact, not only on the patient diagnosed and going through treatment, but also on their caregivers and families.
The complexity of lung cancer
Understanding lung cancers and what drives them is hugely important for doctors in determining the best treatment for patients.
We recognise that many people do not like to talk about lung cancer due to the stigma associated with the disease.
Why lung cancer research matters
Dramatic advancements in the understanding of lung cancer over the years have led to better outcomes for patients.
Greater understanding of subtypes and how different gene fusions or rearrangements drive cancer cell growth and survival has allowed for the development of new tests and treatments for lung cancer and has transformed the patient journey.
I am very happy to be an advocate these days because so many good things have started to happen in the last three, four, five years. The number of survivors are increasing all the time, so it is very good to be able to say that."
Whether testing for PD-L1 to enable treatment with immunotherapies, or testing for gene fusions, such as ALK, EGFR or ROS1, to allow treatment with a specific targeted therapy, continued research and a holistic approach to lung cancer diagnosis and treatment is core to providing effective options for every person diagnosed with the disease.
- World Health Organization. Cancer. [Internet; cited October 2019]. Available from: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer.
- World Health Organization. GLOBOCAN 2018; Lung Cancer: Estimated cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence worldwide. [Internet cited October 2019] Available from: http://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/cancers/15-Lung-fact-sheet.pdf.
- Cancer Research UK. Worldwide Cancer Statistics. [Internet; cited October 2019] http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/worldwide-cancer.
- American Cancer Society. What Is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer? [Internet; cited October 2019]. Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/what-is-non-small-cell-lung-cancer.html.
- MedicineNet. Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer vs. Small Cell Lung Cancer. [Internet; cited October 2019]. Available from: https://www.medicinenet.com/non-small_cell_lung_cancer_vs_small_cell/article.htm#what_is_non-small_cell_lung_cancer_nsclc.
- Jain P et al. Role of immune-checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer. Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2018:12;1753465817750075.