What matters to me: An international online survey of people treating, affected by and living with lung cancer
Lung cancer is a common malignancy that occurs worldwide and generally has a poor prognosis. Its diagnosis presents significant physical and emotional challenges for patients and their family, friends and caregivers (FFCs). This study aimed to gain insights into patients' and FFCs' perspectives regarding lung cancer and its treatment, as well as physicians' perceptions of patients' thoughts about their illness. An international online survey was conducted, assessing 113 patients diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer, 70 corresponding FFCs and 188 treating physicians. Data were collected using an interactive internet-based tool, in order to establish respondents' priorities. Interesting differences between patients', FFCs' and physicians' perspectives on lung cancer were revealed. For all respondents, the primary feeling about lung cancer was described as "sadness". Patients were more likely to express a determination to be positive, whereas fear was a common response for FFCs and was a perspective also reported by physicians. Physicians' views on how they had communicated disease information were more positive than those of the patients, with many patients detecting physician hesitancy to communicate negative news. This study provides important insights into the self-reported thoughts and feelings of patients with lung cancer, their personal networks of FFCs and the physicians who care for them.