To combat the stigma around mental health care for patients with lung cancer, survivor Nancy Cohen shares her own treatment story and why she feels it's important to include mental health care during cancer treatment.
Patients go through many emotions after receiving a cancer diagnosis, especially those with lung cancer who face stigma associated with the disease, such as smoking led to their diagnosis. Stigmas like this can cause mental health distress for which patients may not seek support, according to Nancy Cohen, a lung cancer survivor turned patient advocate, who uses her voice to help others with the disease.
Cohen recently served as the keynote speaker during the CURE® Patient-Focused Sessions at the New York Lung Cancers Symposium® on Nov. 9 addressing a crowd of more than 80 patients with lung cancer. She shared her story to highlight that there is more to the treatment journey than just taking medication and going for routine visits. In an interview with CURE®, her address focused on how mental health care is just as important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
The other thing that is important is managing the mental health aspect of it. I started working with a therapist who specializes in oncology patients. And, I think, we can talk about the stigma of lung cancer and the stigma of mental health and sort of making sure that neither of those is present because I think, you know, going through this is hard enough. And, going through it with a mental health professional is so important.