The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, and other facilities. In 2017, the U.S. veteran population totaled over 20 million. This includes people who have performed many types of military service under a variety of conditions. Unfortunately, American veterans are disproportionately affected by lung cancer, making lung cancer a major concern for many veterans and their families.
From the experts
Commitment, collaboration, and cross-pollination: My reflections on LUNGevity’s Fall Science Meeting
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and I cannot think of a better way to kick it off than by talking about our Fall Science Meeting and the lung cancer researchers in attendance, whose commitment and collaborative spirit are helping to improve outcomes for lung cancer patients.
"My ultimate goal is to develop the best therapy for each patient’s lung cancer, starting with initial treatment and moving on to plan B, plan C, plan D, and plan E, if needed. I am interested in customizing combination therapies. These combinations should be geared to the specific changes we see in the DNA of a patient’s lung cancer. We want to always have another tool in our toolbox, another therapy to offer our patients." —Christine Lovly, MD, PhD
“We do not talk much about how substances such as radon and asbestos in the environment can increase risk of lung cancer. Efforts should be made to increase awareness of radon and reduce exposure.” —Pierre Massion, MD, Vanderbilt University
Happy New Year! As one of your health-related resolutions, please consider checking your home for radon—a well-known environmental cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the US. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Some people with lung cancer have reduced lung function from their cancer or their treatments, like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. People with diminished lung functional capacity or shortness of breath may find pulmonary rehabilitation, a medical program that helps manage breathing, to be a helpful part of their palliative care.
Dr. Patricia Fogelman, DNP, a palliative care provider, talked to us to help us learn more about pulmonary rehab and its benefits.
Checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy has revolutionized lung cancer treatment and ushered in a new era of scientific discovery that is focused on empowering our natural immune system to target and eradicate lung cancer. While some patients see a strong long-lasting benefit from checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy, there remains a significant proportion of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who do not show a lasting benefit.
There has been a lot of information recently about COVID-19 boosters and who should get them and when. Here, LUNGevity’s Dr. Amy Moore, a PhD trained virologist and recognized expert on issues at the intersection of COVID-19 and lung cancer, answers some common questions about boosters and who should get them and when.
What’s the difference between a third dose and a booster shot? Or are they the same? Who should get them?
Good mental health, or our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, is essential for overall health. Being diagnosed and living with cancer, however, can impact our mental health. It can affect how we think, feel, and act, so it’s important to recognize this change and find strategies to cope.
Flu vaccinations are the best way to help protect against the flu. Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive the vaccination. Getting an annual flu shot is particularly important for those who have been affected by lung cancer, including patients, survivors, caregivers, and others who are frequently around a lung cancer patient.
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for about 15% of all lung cancers, and is found most often in people with a history of tobacco exposure. SCLC is an aggressive disease with cancer cells that grow and divide rapidly. Because chemotherapy targets fast-growing cells, patients with SCLC often have good results with initial chemotherapy treatment. However, it is common for patients to develop chemotherapy resistance and then have their cancer progress unchecked.