Clinician Stigma in Lung Cancer Care

Patients with lung cancer often report feelings of stigma, and different approaches to care than in other cancer settings.

Patients with lung cancer often feel stigmatized for their disease and may even feel that they are not getting adequate levels of care because of it, according to Jennifer C. King, PhD, senior director of Science and Research at the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

King explained that patients have more negative experiences if they have a smoking history. Additionally, individuals who have lung cancer and a different type of cancer report that they are approached with less sympathy in the lung cancer setting.


What we see is that patients often feel that their care team may not be providing the same level of care to them, particularly if they may have had a smoking history [and] that their care team may feel that they're not worth the level of care that another patient might get with another type of cancer.

We've heard from patients who've experienced both lung cancer and another type of cancer that they were treated differently in the different experiences, which is horrible to think about, but it actually happens. So many patients report that they feel less sympathy, [and] that they don't feel that their level of care is as good because they're a lung cancer patient, versus a patient with a different type of cancer.

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