As a lung cancer patient, why should you stay informed about research? Expert Dr. Heather Wakelee provides her advice. Find your voice with the Pro-Active Patient Toolkit Resource Guide, available here.
Heather Wakelee, MD is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Oncology at Stanford University. More about this expert here.
So, as a patient living with lung cancer, you have many options today that you wouldn’t have had 5, 10, 15 years ago, which is wonderful.
Because things are changing so quickly, it’s very hard for physicians and other care providers to keep up with all of the latest information. It’s especially hard if you are seeing an oncologist who not only has to keep up with everything that’s happening in lung cancer, but also everything that’s happening in breast cancer, and colon cancer, and melanoma, and so many other diseases.
And so, while everybody does their best to know the latest and greatest in research, and all of the new drug approvals, sometime that’s just possible. So, as a patient, you wanna make sure that you, focused on your particular disease, are up-to-date on what you can possibly know about the best ways to treat your disease, so you can talk to your physician and make sure that he or she also knows about those, and is using that latest information to help you get the best possible care.
There’s also a lot of ongoing clinical trials. And being able to ask about those and know what may or may not make sense for you, is also a reasonable thing to be able to talk with your doctor about.
And sometimes that involves continuing your care with your doctor, but also getting another opinion, particularly at a research center where they might have access to more trials, new drugs, some of which might be better than what’s available, and some of which might not be. But without talking to people about that, you’re not gonna be able to know that.
And that’s why it’s really important to do what you can or your family can do to be educated and know what is going on in the field of lung cancer, so you can get the best possible care.