Lung Cancer

How it affects you

When people received the diagnosis of lung cancer they experienced various emotions, including fear of death, anxiety and anger. The diagnosis came as a shock, especially to those who didn't feel ill and to those who were relatively young.

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An immediate reaction was one of despair, and some people become severely depressed, but this was often followed by a determination to fight the disease with a positive attitude.

Many people were worried about their families, and one woman was 'panic-stricken' because she was caring for her young granddaughter. Some people worried about how to tell their children about the diagnosis (see 'Telling the children and grandchildren').

A man said that immediately after the diagnosis he made some hasty decisions that he later regretted, mainly because he did not know how long he was going to live. For example, he rushed out and bought a car which turned out to be a 'pile of rubbish'.

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At this time some people decided to write their will, and to sort out their 'affairs'. However, one woman thought about this and decided that it was unnecessary because she was determined to get better.

A man who was told he had mesothelioma felt numb at first. The diagnosis didn't hit him until he and his partner were alone. They decided to get married.

Some people said that they wanted to talk to others about their cancer, and that this made them feel better. Other people preferred to keep the diagnosis to themselves - they wanted to avoid being reminded of their illness when meeting others, or they feared rejection and stigmatisation (see 'Feelings of stigma, shame and guilt about having lung cancer').

Last reviewed May 2016. 



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