The Face of Lung Cancer—Or Lack of One

Many perceive lung cancer as a “smokers’ disease” or have in their mind the “type” of individual that gets this diagnosis. However, this is a myth—or maybe because cancer is so scary, it’s a way to manage the anxiety we all have about it.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. In fact, lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

The reality is that there is no “face” of lung cancer—individuals of every age, color, race and gender are diagnosed, including individuals who have smoked and individuals who have not.

Like all cancers, lung cancer is indiscriminate. Still, support in society for patients with lung cancer is different from those with other cancers. Stigmatization and shaming are frequent experiences of this population.

Through the Cancer Support Community at Prisma Health, a Lung Cancer Support Group is providing a safe venue and positive experience for these patients to process their experiences.

The group is an open forum for men and women to share stories and experiences related to lung cancer. Individuals have “teachable moments” and discuss how to impart such moments to those in the community who may have had false information regarding lung cancer.

The group legitimizes and universalizes feelings and focuses on each individual’s control of behaviors and thoughts. There is a focus on moving forward, while at the same time learning to stay in the present. It is a group that helps individuals have their best lives.

The group meets every third Tuesday of the month at the Cancer Institute, 900 W. Faris Road, 1st Floor Conference Room. It is open to anyone impacted by a lung cancer diagnosis.

For more information, please contact Katie Daniels at (864) 455-5889.

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