Advice for Patients With Small Cell Lung Cancer



Philippa Cheetham, M.D.: What advice would you give to patients, in wrapping up this segment, in terms of networks of support, well established websites for patients to get more information about lung cancer or where to seek treatments in their zip code?

Edward Kim, M.D., FACP: The great thing that we’ve seen emerge over the last decade is the advocacy groups out there, even specifically for lung cancer. There were so many for breast cancer, I couldn’t keep track of them all. The American Cancer Society is always a great resource for folks. It’s really scientifically based, evidence-based. And then there are foundations out there. Trust me, if you Google foundations, support groups for small cell even, you will find some out there. I think it’s good to reach out to those organizations, again, legitimate organizations that have good websites who are 501(c)(3)s, etcetera, and get that type of information. They’re a very accepting community. They want your questions, and you should feel empowered to go to your provider’s office and ask those questions very frankly. If any physician, and I know you feel the same way about this, is hesitant to recommend a second opinion for a patient, then you have to be very suspicious about what they’re trying to hide.

Philippa Cheetham, M.D.: Right. And we’re also trying to educate patients to be their own advocate and for caregivers too, often they’re the ones in front of the computer trying to go to the right websites to get the right information in a timely manner. If somebody was to reach out to you and they’re on the other side of the country and they’re wanting to get advice to get to the right person, are there specific websites that you could recommend, this is the site that I would say your best friend, or father or whoever should go to, to drill down to getting to the right person at the right time for the right treatment?

Edward Kim, M.D., FACP: It’s so challenging, and I do get reached out to from folks across the country and even overseas. What I try to do as a specialist is to direct them to some local expertise, and sometimes they’re in a small town, there isn’t that. So we look at the next major metropolitan area. Sometimes they’re saying, hey, I’ll fly anywhere. Well, you don’t have to fly across the country to see me. There are a lot of experts in lung cancer in between the West Coast and the East Coast, that they certainly can get very good care with. And so I think we have to encourage patients to reach out. It’s not only if you have a friend of a friend who’s in a network and who happens to know. We are all here to help. And the American Cancer Society, like I said, is a great resource to go through.

There are some, again, lung cancer foundations out there that are at a state level, as well as in a national level that will help you. I think be your own champion or if not, assign it to somebody who will be a champion for you and have them reach out. Again, this is the time to be a little selfish because there is hope out there. There are treatments being tested. There are treatments in clinical trials. We are seeing a renaissance in the age of oncology and especially in lung cancer over the last 10 years, and I don’t see it slowing down right now.

Philippa Cheetham, M.D.: And it seems fair to say, correct me if I’m wrong, be prepared, be organized, and be positive. Thank you so much, Dr. Kim. It’s been fantastic. Thank you.

Edward Kim, M.D., FACP: Thank you.

Philippa Cheetham, M.D.: So this has been a truly phenomenal discussion on small cell lung cancer. I’d like to thank Dr. Kim for sharing his perspectives with all of us today and to all of the viewers here at CURE Connections®. Thank you so much for watching.

Transcript Edited for Clarity

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