Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Why Innovation is so Important for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Why Innovation is So Important for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

Following up on our “Guide to Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” we’re explaining why innovation is so critical for patients.

There’s no cure for non-small cell lung cancer, and that means innovation — the potential development of new treatments — is the only long-term option for patients. Thankfully, health care experts describe “a sea change” in treatment options.

“Lung cancer is experiencing a sea change in the management of the disease,” says Andrea Ferris, President and Chairman of LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s preeminent lung cancer nonprofit. “Scientific progress is advancing at an accelerated pace with over 120 medicines in development for lung cancer.”

Ferris adds, “With the new treatments that are now available, many patients are able to not only survive lung cancer for a period of time, but LIVE with lung cancer, participating in things that they value like work, family, and engagement with their communities.”

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Doesn’t Just Affect Smokers

One of the challenges for patients with non-small cell lung cacer is the stigma associated with the disease. Many people incorrectly believe that only smokers suffer from the incurable disease.

Janet Freeman-Daily, who was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in May 2011, is working to correct that misinformation at Gray Connections, which offers perspectives on lung cancer, brain science, and other stuff.

“Since I know you’re going to ask: no, I never smoked anything (except a salmon),” she explains in her bio page. “The cancer became metastatic in October 2011. After two different chemo-radiation combinations, each followed by a cancer progression, I have had No Evidence of Disease since January 2013 thanks to precision medicine, clinical trials, and other patients.”

Earlier this year, she wrote a post on FDA approval for the anticancer pill Xalkori (generic name crizotinib) as a treatment for ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

“I feel proud to be part of the research that is making new cancer treatments available for more patients,” she says. “Precision medicine, targeted therapies, and clinical trials are awesome.”

What You Should Ask Your Doctor About Lung Cancer

The American Cancer Society has assembled a helpful guide, “Questions to Ask My Doctor About Lung Cancer.”

“It’s important for you to be able to talk frankly and openly with your cancer care team,” the organization advises patients. “They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem to you. But it helps if you know what to ask.”

  1. Exactly what type of lung cancer do I have?
  2. How do I get a copy of my pathology report?
  3. Where is the cancer located?
  4. Has the cancer spread beyond where it started?
  5. What’s the cancer’s stage? What does that mean?
  6. How does this affect my treatment options and long-term outcome (prognosis)?
  7. What are my chances of survival, based on my cancer as you see it?
  8. How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  9. Will I need other tests before we can decide on a treatment?
  10. What are my treatment choices?
  11. What treatment do you recommend and why?
  12. If I need to have surgery, how will I manage if I’m missing a lung, or part of one?
  13. What’s the goal of my treatment?
  14. Should I get a second opinion? How do I do that?
  15. Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?

Save the Date: October 19th Patients Rising Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Event

Mark your calendars for October 19th.

Patients Rising is headed to St. Louis to host our latest “Voices of Value Speak Up” event focused on non-small cell lung cancer. As part of our “Voices of Value” series, our goal is to provide a forum for patients to share their stories about the importance of accessing life-saving treatments.

Full information on the event will be announced soon. Check back at our website for all the info.
Until then, save the date: October 19th in St. Louis.

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