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Lung Cancer Guide photo Understanding The Issues

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Index

Preface

Very little has been done in the past to provide information for people with lung cancer. As a result, this document has been written to answer many of the questions you may already have, to help you develop other questions to ask your medical team, and to give you the facts you need to know about lung cancer. This information will help you become a more effective partner in the decisions that are being made about your diagnosis and treatment, and to talk more easily with your doctors and nurses.

Because it is important that your family members and friends be well-informed about what you are going through and how you are coping with this disease, we encourage you to include your family and friends as members of your healthcare team whenever possible so they will be able to give you the help you need when you need it.

Think of this document as a tool to help you build a better understanding of lung cancer and how you can cope with it, to improve your relationships with your doctors and nurses, and to gain stronger support from your family members and friends.

Diane Blum, ACSW
Executive Director
Cancer Care, Inc.


To the Reader

From talking with many people who have lung cancer and the doctors and nurses who treat them, we found a number of things that they wish they had known when dealing with this disease. This document was developed in response to those wishes and will hopefully answer some of the questions you may have about nonsmall cell lung cancer. This document can also help you to develop other questions to ask your healthcare providers.

It is important that you have a strong support system of family members and friends. Your family members and friends need to be kept well informed about what you are going through and what they can do to help you. Very often they may want to help you but don't know how to do so. Use this document as a guide to assist you in bringing out into the open issues and needs that you may sometimes find difficult to talk about. Involve the people in your support system as much and as often as possible so that they will be able to give you the help you need when you need it.

This document has been designed like a workbook with forms you can print out to encourage you to talk with your healthcare team and to provide a place for you to record important information about your diagnosis and treatment. It can also be used to record your feelings and concerns so that you can talk about them with your family and friends.

We hope that as you study and use this document, you will find the information you need to care for yourself and to participate as fully as you want in the decisions regarding your health care.

We encourage you to write down any questions, concerns, or needs you have on the forms provided and then talk with your doctors and nurses so that you can get the answers and information you need.


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