Coping with Stigma

How you cope may depend on the day, the situation and the audience. Here are some ways that people in the lung cancer community cope with stigma:

  • CREATE A “TEACHABLE MOMENT.” Empower yourself by learning the facts about lung cancer and use the opportunity to educate others.
  • TELL YOUR STORY. Give a face to lung cancer by letting others know that it affects a wide range of people—smokers and nonsmokers, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and people of all ages, races, religions and economic status.
  • BE HONEST about your feelings. Tell the person who has made you uncomfortable why a remark was hurtful and explain that lung cancer deserves the same understanding and compassion as other diseases.
  • YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPASSIONATE CARE from your healthcare team. If you are not getting that, consider switching doctors or facilities.
  • FIND OTHERS WHO UNDERSTAND. There are a number of ways to connect with other lung cancer survivors.
  • VOLUNTEER WITH US. History has shown that stigma can be reversed and we need your help.