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LIVING WITH LUNG CANCER
Living with a serious disease is not easy. Cancer patients and those who care about them face many problems and challenges. Coping with these difficulties is easier when people have helpful information and support services. Several useful booklets, including Taking Time: Support for People With Cancer and the People Who Care About Them, are available from the Cancer Information Service.
Cancer patients may worry about holding jobs, caring for their families, or keeping up with daily activities. Worries about tests, treatments, hospital stays, and medical bills also are common. Doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team can answer questions and help calm fears about treatment, working, or other activities. Also, meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful to patients who want to talk about their feelings or discuss their concerns about the future or about personal relationships.
Friends and relatives, especially those who have had personal experience with cancer, can be very supportive. Also, many patients find it helps to discuss their concerns with others who are facing similar problems. Cancer patients often get together in support groups, where they can share what they have learned about coping with cancer and the effects of treatment. It is important to keep in mind, however, that each patient is different. Treatments and ways of dealing with cancer that work for one person may not be right for another - even if they both have the same kind of cancer. It is always a good idea to discuss the advice of friends and family members with the doctor.
Often, a social worker at the hospital or clinic can suggest local and national groups that help with rehabilitation, emotional support, financial aid, transportation, or home care. The American Cancer Society is one such group. This nonprofit organization has many services for patients and their families. Local offices of the American Cancer Society are listed in the white pages of the telephone directory.
Information about other programs and services is available through the Cancer Information Service. The toll-free number is 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The public library is a good place to find books and articles on living with cancer. Cancer patients and their families also can find helpful suggestions in booklets from the National Cancer Institute.
Symptoms And Diagnosis
Treatment Of Lung Cancer