When most people think of lung cancer, they think of the type that begins in the lungs, and which may come from having inhaled contaminants such as cigarette smoke, radon gas, asbestos or other carcinogens. Metastatic lung cancer is a different variant of the disease, which develops when cancer in another part of the body travels to the lung via the lymph system. In most cases, metastatic lung cancer has its origins in cancer tumors found in the bladder, the breast, the colon, or the kidneys. The cells break away from their primary tumor and enter the blood stream, attaching themselves to a vessel that carries them to a new organ. They then grow into a different type of cancer within the lung, meaning that the patient must now battle not one, but two types of cancer.
Patients are generally diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer when their symptoms expand beyond what they had originally been experiencing and start to show signs of lung involvement. These may include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing up blood. Unfortunately, when cancer metastasizes to the lungs, there is a chance that it has also traveled to other areas of the body. Chemotherapy is often the most effective treatment, though physicians may also recommend surgery, radiation therapy, or even laser therapy. Generally speaking, patients diagnosed with cancer that has metastasized to the lungs rarely live more than five years following diagnosis.
There are a number of organizations that are available to help those who have been diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer, as well as to provide support and education to their caregivers and family members. Below you will find several of these organizations, as well as their contact information.
American Lung Association
About American Lung Association: The American Lung Association’s primary mission is to fight for healthy air, but they also provide support for lung cancer patients in a number of ways. They offer a Lung Cancer HelpLine staffed by registered nurses and respiratory therapists, an online lung cancer support group, an an online volunteer and caregiving coordination service for lung cancer patients and their families who are coping with immediate or long-term lung cancer issues, and an informational action guide.
Lung Cancer Foundation of America
About Lung Cancer Foundation of America: The LCFA’s mission is the dramatic improvement in survivorship of lung cancer patients through the funding of transformative science, with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. To accomplish this, they work to raise both the funds and the national profile of lung cancer in order to substantially increase support of innovative and groundbreaking research efforts. They also provide valuable support and education for patients through their Lung Cancer Tutor program, providing them with the necessary tools of empowerment that allow them to easily navigate their way into having the best care and treatment available for lung cancer.
American Cancer Society
About American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society provides a wide range of resources for those diagnosed with all types of cancers, as well as for their families and caregivers. Services provided include access to trained Cancer Information Specialists who are available 24 hours per day to answer questions and connect callers to appropriate resources; online resources via their website; and access to programs and services in the patient’s local area.
Lung Cancer Alliance
About Lung Cancer Alliance: Founded in 1995, the Lung Cancer Alliance is the oldest and leading non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives and advancing research by empowering those living with and at risk for lung cancer. The organization offers personalized support, information and referral services at no cost through a team of trained, dedicated staff members to help patients, their loved ones and those at risk. They also advocate for increased lung cancer research funding and equitable access, coverage and reimbursement for screening, treatment, diagnostics, and testing, and conduct nationwide education campaigns about the disease, risk and early detection.
Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
About Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation: The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. Through empowering and educating patients, funding cutting-edge research, building strategic collaborations and raising public awareness, the organization’s goal is to transform lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The organization provides a variety of support and educational resources to those who have been diagnosed.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial is a financial assistance resource that works to relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. A late-stage cancer diagnosis is devastating to an individual living with cancer as well as their family. In addition to physical and emotional trauma, in many cases, late-stage cancers place a severe financial burden on individuals and their families. Overwhelmed with medical and emotional issues, individuals living with cancer should be focusing on their care and their families, not financial stress. Unfortunately for many in this situation, financial stress is a reality and a significant distraction. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with late-stage cancer by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The ultimate goal of the program is to help relieve financial stress so that people living with cancer can focus on what is most important in their lives. In the last five years, Fifth Season has provided financial assistance of more than $40 million to more than 300 people and their families through their lending program. While they have witnessed the financial challenges confronting individuals living with cancer, they have also witnessed the satisfaction of easing this burden. No credit check. No income requirements.
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