11th May 2022

There is nothing shameful about lung cancer

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We are deeply saddened to learn that the actor, Dennis Waterman, passed away from lung cancer on Sunday [8th May], and even more so upon hearing his secret battle with the disease for the last two years.

Lung cancer remains a highly stigmatised disease, one that people are often ashamed to admit they have or, if they have never smoked, immediately try to distance themselves from.

However, it is never this black or white. From peer pressure as a child to poor mental health, the reasons for smoking are diverse and highly complex, and once tobacco firms have you in their grasp, it is incredibly difficult to escape.

For us, a person’s smoking history is not important. It’s for this reason why we don’t like the term ‘smokers’; this collective noun almost dehumanising those that smoke, solidifying the unhelpful and often dangerous stigma. It can stop those in need from seeking help and create a diagnostic barrier for people who do not match up to the preconceived notion of a lung cancer patient.

Smoking does not define a person. They are so much more than this addiction and are no less deserving of support, empathy and compassion because of it. This is why we are proud to remain the only UK charity solely dedicated to supporting everyone affected by lung cancer.

Support is here

Lung cancer is a terrifying thing to be told you have, and it should not be made harder by facing it alone. We provide a number of support services for those affected by lung cancer – both the patient themselves and their loved ones.

Ask the Nurse

Our helpline nurses are here to answer any questions you may have – from concerns about symptoms and getting a GP appointment, to coping with your diagnosis, managing symptoms and side effects and information about treatment options.
Available Monday to Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm. Freephone 0800 358 7200

After my dad was diagnosed, I spoke to Nicky, one of the nurses on the charity’s helpline. I wasn’t entirely sure what to ask; I’m completely green to this but Nicky was fantastic. She told me the answers before I even knew the questions! The level of detail was very reassuring, without being overwhelming.


Lung Cancer Connect

Our online support sessions focus on specific topics including managing during treatment and support for carers. Our experienced facilitators are here to help you navigate your experience, share whatever you are comfortable with, and connect with others in similar situations. We also having a growing video library featuring clinicians, patients and professionals with experience in health and wellbeing that covers all aspects of diagnosis, treatment, surgery and living with lung cancer.
Click here for more details, to watch or to join a group

I find the online support sessions really helpful. It just boosts me and gives me somewhere to be and something to do at that time. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.


Lung Cancer Forum

Speak to others who truly understand what it is like to live with lung cancer. From sharing experiences to asking questions, swapping tips to manage symptoms and side effects and simply having someone to talk to, our online forum requires no brave faces. Just simple, friendly conversation and support.
Join online by visiting http://healthunlocked.com/lungcancer

Patient grants

Having lung cancer has many costs and the cost-of-living crisis is making the hardest of times even more desperate. One practical way that we can help is through our patient grant fund with money available to help those who have experienced extra costs as a result of their diagnosis, treatment or experience of lung cancer.
For more information or to apply for a grant, click here

I am so grateful for this grant. My latest scan results weren’t good. This money meant we were able to make it a truly special Christmas for our two girls.


Lung Cancer Information

We offer a wide range of lung cancer information so everyone affected can understand the disease. We work with lung cancer experts and others affected by the disease so it is as relevant, clear and accurate. From advice about living with lung cancer to all the different types of treatments, our information will help you from the time you are diagnosed, as well as supporting you through and after any treatment.
Click here to read or download our information booklets