Lung Cancer: Survivorship & Support

Advances in the treatment of lung cancer have made it possible for more people with the disease to live longer, and with a better quality of life, than ever before. Each year, lung cancer is controlled or cured in tens of thousands of Americans.

Nevertheless, fighting lung cancer can be overwhelming experience. Our experts understand this, and are skilled in treating all of the problems that lung cancer and lung cancer treatment can cause, including the physical side effects and emotional stress of living with the disease. 

Memorial Sloan Kettering has created a unique follow-up care program to address any side effects of your cancer care and to watch for signs that your cancer might be returning after treatment. We also offer a variety of supportive services for people during and after cancer treatment, including psychiatry, social work, integrative medicine, chaplaincy, and support groups. These services are staffed by healthcare professionals who specialize in caring for people with cancer.

Please visit our Survivorship Center  to find information about our support services, including professionally led support groups and counseling; survivorship clinics to manage late effects of cancer and treatment; and recommendations about screening and healthy living. We also offer a range of resources to help survivors, families, and friends better understand the complex emotional and social issues following treatment.

The following are some of our programs for cancer survivors.

Resources for Life After Cancer

The Resources for Life After Cancer program provides a full range of educational support services, including individual and family counseling, periodic lectures or workshops to provide medical updates, and practical guidance on employment and insurance issues. If you are unable to attend these events in person, they are often available to view on our website or on our iTunes channel.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Counseling Center

Our Counseling Center offers individual and family counseling sessions to help cancer survivors and their families address the problems they may encounter in adjusting to life after treatment. Experts in our counseling center include psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who specialize in issues related to cancer.

Integrative Medicine Service

Our Integrative Medicine Service complements mainstream medical care by addressing the physical and emotional symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment. We offer therapies including massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, t’ai chi, and chair aerobics. Many lung cancer patients benefit from these programs as well as from our fitness classes, which help build strength and improve breathing.

Fertility

Many of the treatments that have led to improved survival rates among people diagnosed with cancer also have the potential to impair fertility. We offer information and resources that will help you understand the options available to preserve fertility before treatment begins and to build a family after treatment is completed.

Sexual Health

Some lung cancer patients may find that their feelings about and desire for sex have been affected by cancer or its treatment. Memorial Sloan Kettering has many physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists who are knowledgeable about sexual health problems related to cancer treatment, and they are here to help you address your concerns. Learn more about our specialized programs for patients with concerns about sexual health after cancer treatment.

Help for Older Patients

A diagnosis of cancer is difficult at any age, but older patients face unique challenges. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is committed to providing cancer patients aged 65 and older with the treatment, facilities, and support they need.

Memorial Sloan Kettering offers the services of a multidisciplinary geriatric team, which includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nutritionist experts, and psychiatrists, as well as members of the Pain and Palliative Care Department and the Integrative Medicine Service. The programs and care the team provides focus on the needs of elderly cancer patients.

For more information about our services for older patients as well as for their family and friends, visit Help for Older Patients

Tobacco Cessation

Because a history of tobacco use is a major risk factor for lung cancer, you will be asked during your first appointment at Memorial Sloan Kettering whether you have ever smoked cigarettes. If you still smoke, you will be asked to stop. This is a chance for you to make your treatment safer and more effective. You also reduce your risk for future lung cancers — and the risk to those around you — by stopping today. Quitting is hard and everyone involved in your care wants to help you find the best way for you to stop. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Memorial Sloan Kettering has special tobacco cessation programs to help set up the best plan for you to quit….for good.