Being told you have lung cancer can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your healthcare team to help.
It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about your cancer and about your treatment options can help you feel less afraid. It can also help you work with your healthcare team to make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.
You will likely have different types of healthcare providers on your healthcare team. These might include:
Thoracic surgeon. This healthcare provider uses surgery to treat diseases of the lungs, including cancer.
Medical oncologist. This healthcare provider has special training in treating cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Radiation oncologist. This healthcare provider has special training in treating cancer with radiation.
Pulmonologist. This healthcare provider has special training in treating diseases of the lungs.
Other healthcare professionals on your team may include nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, dietitians, and pharmacists. They will answer any questions you may have.
They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.
To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about your cancer. This may involve getting tests and working with more than 1 healthcare provider. And you may decide that you want to get a second opinion to help you choose a treatment. Your team can help you do this.
Clinical trials may be another treatment option you want to talk to your healthcare provider about. These are studies looking at treatments that may work better than the treatments used today.
Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also visit support groups to talk with other people coping with lung cancer. Ask your healthcare team about local support groups.