There is lots of support for people with lung cancer available. You do not need to deal with your diagnosis or treatment alone.
Nurses rule, ok!
Your lung cancer nurse specialist is one of your best allies. They know the impact a lung cancer diagnosis can have. They know their way around the healthcare system and understand the options available to you.
They can take a ‘step back’ from the emotional impact a diagnosis has on both the patient and their loved ones. They can be a guide, a confidant and a key ally.
Lung cancer nurse specialists (LCNS) try to provide emotional support for patient and their families. When a person is first diagnosed, it is a very confusing time for them and their loved ones. LCNS try to help the patient make sense of it.
My nurse, Kay, was always there to support me. She was reassuring, kind and made that extra bit of time even when she was busy. Knowing I could and can still talk to her about anything is priceless.Gaynor, diagnosed with early stage lung cancer in 2017
A lot of patients and families try to protect each other. They tend not to ask questions in case the answers upset their partner or children.
Lung cancer nurses therefore often try to talk to patients on their own. They will also speak to the family separately too because they often have their own issues and questions that they may struggle to talk openly about in front of the patient.
Lung cancer support groups
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation funds lung cancer support groups across the UK. These groups provide support to everyone affected by lung cancer – patients, family and carers – from diagnosis, treatment and beyond.
Ask the nurse service
If you have any questions or concerns, our Ask the Nurse service is here to help. This is a nurse-led service which can offer advice on:
- Help with treatment side effects
- Understanding treatment options
- Managing symptoms.
They can also send out suitable literature to help further answer any questions you may have about treatments and living with lung cancer.
No internet search would have come up with their answers but, more importantly, no internet search would have provided me with the amount of encouragement, calm and level-headedness that they did.”Larissa, living with lung cancer
You can call our Ask the Nurse service for free on 0800 358 7200 (Mon-Thurs 9-5, Fri 9-4) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional healthcare services
There are many other healthcare services which can help you as you live with lung cancer. They can help you overcome or adapt to some of the effects of lung cancer and its treatment, such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Problems walking
- Difficulties with speaking and/or swallowing.
This can help you maintain or improve your strength, mobility, balance and coordination. Physiotherapy can also help you alleviate some lung cancer symptoms, including breathlessness and coughing.
If you are struggling with some everyday activities like getting upstairs, bathing or cooking, an occupational therapist could provide you with some much-needed support.
They will look at equipment or adaptions that can be made to help as well as helping you deal with fatigue, poor sleep and ways to go back to work.
Speech and language therapy
This is a specialised support team that helps people who find it difficult to speak clearly or loudly, or who are not able to eat or swallow properly.
If you are experiencing any of these problems, speak to your lung cancer nurse specialist, consultant or GP. They will be able to refer you to the support services you need.