Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death: more than cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas combined. To help increase education about this devasting disease August 1 has been designated as World Lung Cancer Day. ViaQuest Hospice wants to ensure that no one has to face lung cancer alone without the support, expert care and resources that can help reduce the stress and burden of this difficult illness.
The first reaction to any cancer diagnosis is often shock, disbelief and fear. There is also a certain degree of numbness where it’s hard to believe this is happening to you or a loved one. Then comes the reality where you struggle with understanding treatment options, you question where to turn for support and try to accept that life has suddenly changed. How soon a cancer is diagnosed can play a significant role in treatment plans and decisions about focusing on curative treatment vs. focusing on quality of life choices.
Lung cancer is one of the hardest to diagnose yet lung cancer is among the most common cancers. Unfortunately, when symptoms appear the cancer is often advanced. Advanced lung cancer is distressing, frightening and hard to manage for patients and their families, yet hospice, which can greatly improve quality of life for lung cancer patients, is underutilized. Though the decision for hospice care is never easy, there may come a time when goals change from aggressive treatment to focusing on quality of life.
When Is It Time To Consider Hospice Care For Lung Cancer?
The focus often turns to quality of life when the burdens of aggressive treatments outweigh their benefit or when the stress, symptoms and manifestations of the illness become difficult to manage alone.
It may be time to consider the expert care and the extra layer of support hospice can provide when your loved one is experiencing:
- Uncontrolled pain
- Symptoms which are becoming harder to manage
- Distressing and chronic shortness of breath
- Frequent trips to the ER
- Frequent hospitalizations
- Little interest in eating
- Trouble focusing, confusion and restlessness
- Declining interest in activities that once brought joy
- Family caregiver experiencing growing worry about their loved one’s wellbeing
How ViaQuest Hospice Helps Improve Quality of Life
ViaQuest Hospice can greatly reduce the stress and burden of lung cancer while improving quality of life for both the patient and their family. Our interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, CNAs, chaplains, social workers and companionship volunteers provide:
- Pain and symptom management: Expert pain and symptom management
- Extra layer of support: Help with personal care including changing bedding, changing clothing, bathing and helping with hygienic routines
- Reduced hospitalizations: Expert care and symptom manage that helps keep your loved one out of the hospital
- Plan of care focused on individual wishes: Helping navigate decisions and empowering personal goals and wishes
- Affirmation of the whole person: Whole-person care for the mind, body and spirit
- Emotional and spiritual support: Chaplains who provide counseling and spiritual support for the entire family
- End of life goals: Care that helps patients attain achievable goals at the end of life
- 24/7 access to care: Access to care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Caregiver education: Education about the disease process and help preparing for the days ahead
- Caregiver and family support: Help in navigating the emotional toll of the illness on the family
- Respite care: ViaQuest Respite Services provide families and caregivers with a necessary break from providing around-the-clock care
How To Get Help
If your loved one was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer or has been living with lung cancer for a while, ViaQuest wants you to know that you don’t have to face making important decisions alone. Reaching out to ViaQuest doesn’t mean you are accepting hospice care. Our team can help determine what support you and your loved one may need and empower you with the knowledge, insights and resources to move forward.