How to Respond to the Smoking Question?
There are so many support groups for women with breast cancer, but I am a woman with lung cancer. A generic support group just doesn't get it – I feel like they don't understand the way other people make you feel since I was a smoker (many years ago!). Are there groups for lung cancer?
Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:
There are groups for lung cancer patients and their caregivers, but as you said they are not as prevalent as they are for other diagnoses. You can start by contacting the American Cancer Society (1-800-ACS-2345), as they maintain a national database of groups and support services. There are also online support groups offered through Cancer Care and The Cancer Support Community. You can also connect with a "phone buddy," a trained volunteer survivor who you can link up with on the phone and talk with one-on-one. This program is offered through the Lung Cancer Alliance.
Donna Lee Lista, Lung cancer survivor, advocate and blogger, adds:
There are a few other organizations that you might want to look into; there is Lung Cancer Partnership, which also has some individual state chapters. You can find them at nationallungcancerpartnership.org