What you need to know if you are newly diagnosed with lung cancer | American Lung Association

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What you need to know if you are newly diagnosed with lung cancer

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When you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, what you do on day one matters. It’s important to learn as much as possible about your lung cancer today so you can discuss treatment options with your doctor immediately. Lung cancer treatment has come a long way and the science is advancing every day. Taking an active role in your care will help you get the best outcome possible. There is always hope.

1) Know the makeup of your particular lung cancer

Learn the type, stage and if you have any mutations or biomarkers. This helps your doctor determine all of your treatment options, including targeted therapies, immunotherapy, clinical trials and traditional treatment.

2) Know your treatment options and what to expect

No two lung cancers are the same, and they shouldn’t be treated that way. Each person’s tumor is different as are their lifestyle preferences. Know your treatment options and how to prepare for your journey.

3) Don’t wait to get help with side effects

Maintaining the best quality of life possible is important to many lung cancer patients. Unfortunately, many patients don’t receive the support of palliative care, which is a medical specialty designed to help patients manage their physical and emotional side effects. Palliative care is often thought of as something that should only be delivered at end-of-life, but it is actually recommended that most lung cancer patients receive it alongside of treatment, regardless of prognosis.

4) Consider clinical trials

Patients enrolled in clinical trials have access to top-notch care and are closely monitored. Enrollees either get the best known standard of care or a new treatment being studied that isn’t yet available. For some patients, a clinical trial is the best treatment option they have available to them.

5) You are not alone

No person facing lung cancer should go through it alone. Luckily, we have many resources that can connect you with people who are in your shoes.

    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed November 13, 2017.

    Page Last Updated: March 11, 2019

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