Lung Cancer

Support for people with lung cancer

People with lung cancer have to cope with many difficulties, including the side effects of treatments. Strained social relationships, stigmatisation and financial problems may also add to the stress of having the disease, and support is needed. 

Most people received support from family and friends. (See 'How it affects family and friends').

Many hospitals provide emotional support, and some hospitals have day centres where patients can get information and advice, eat lunch, socialise, take part in various activities, benefit from complementary therapies, and get their hair done.

In many parts of the country patients and nurses have started support groups for people with lung cancer and their families.

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Many people said that joining a support group had helped their recovery. One woman looks forward to the monthly meetings because she meets others in a similar situation, has learnt from their experiences, and had 'quite a good laugh'. A man said that his depression had lifted after he joined a group.

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Other people talked with enthusiasm about their support group activities. They recalled helpful talks, for example on financial benefits and complementary therapies. They also mentioned parties, quizzes, visits to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, raffles and other fund raising activities.

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One man valued his support group because the lung cancer nurse had plenty of time to talk to him, unlike when he attends his surgery.

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A number of people interviewed here had not joined a support group. Some said that they hadn't needed one because they had enough support from family and friends. Others imagined that the groups might be rather depressing, while a few said that they preferred to keep their illness private or that they preferred to forget about it. One man said that he did not think there was a support group in his area and another man was too busy caring for his wife to consider other activities.

For more information sources see our Resources.

Last reviewed May 2016.

Last updated May 2016.


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