Around 14 percent of all new cancers in America are of the lung, and a projected 220,000 people will be diagnosed in the US with the disease in 2016. It is also the leading cause in cancer deaths, with one in four being attributed to lung cancer.
These trends are not unique to the US, Public Health England [PHE] recently announced as many as 80,000 people in the UK may have lung cancer and may not be aware of it.
With figures like these, the fight against lung cancer is clearly not an easy battle. A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying for a patient and the people who support them, and information can be critical when living with the disease.
We are increasingly seeing people turning to the internet for support – connecting and engaging with people who also have the disease online, accessing information on drug side effects, networking to overcome personal challenges and forming communities through forums to ask questions to each other. Given that the majority of people are unlikely to know anyone else with the same disease, this can be an incredibly valuable tool.
Charities and patient organisations are also part of this support package. Free to Breathe are a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders. They are united in the belief that every person with lung cancer deserves a cure.
As a new member of the HealthUnlocked network, we are working closely with Free to Breathe to expand our online communities and further support the fight against lung cancer. Free to Breathe’s core goal is to double cancer survival rates by 2022 and we’re delighted to be part it.
The patient organisation has been empowering people with the disease since 2001, and this partnership has been a natural step for them. The HealthUnlocked network is able to provide a large community and dedicated online space for people to share information and support.
This partnership will use peer to peer support to directly support the Free to Breathe mission of finally defeating lung cancer, while further connecting patients with professionals and others who are impacted by lung cancer to make managing their condition and accessing information easier.
Since its official launch in mid July, there have already been personal stories told of experiences with this disease and supportive responses. It is this kind of difference that HealthUnlocked know makes a difference.
Our challenge now, is to make sure everyone with lung cancer knows about this new support forum and how to find it.
It is completely free to use and join. Please help us spread the word – Join the Fight Against Lung Cancer – HealthUnlocked