More Than Ten Percent of Patients with Lung Cancer Don’t Know Their Cancer Type

More than ten percent of patients with lung cancer do not know what type they have, according to a new study from researchers at the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC).

For this international study, investigators surveyed 907 patients with lung cancer from countries across the globe. Overall, 13% of respondents reported not knowing which type of lung cancer they had.

“I was shocked that some people didn’t know what type of lung cancer they had because, if they didn’t have that information, how could they understand their treatment options for making decisions about their care?” said Vanessa Beattie, member of the GLCC, in a press release. “Receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer is devastating and it’s crucial that patients receive good quality information from the start so they are empowered to make informed decisions about their treatment. At diagnosis, they should be offered information – written or in another form – about their type and stage of cancer and a potential treatment plan which they can discuss with their cancer team and their family.”

Regarding treatment decisions, 18% of patients said they do not feel involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Nine percent of patients reported feeling they had “never” or “only sometimes” been treated with dignity and respect by their oncology team.

“There is still a stigma attached to lung cancer because of its links with smoking, but every patient should be treated with dignity and respect at all times and have a positive experience of care wherever they are treated, including opportunities to talk about their concerns,” said Beattie.

Findings from this study will be presented at the upcoming European Lung Cancer Conference.