November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which is a good reminder to all of us to take stock of our own health and to learn some facts about lung cancer.
Although the incidence of lung cancer has been decreasing steadily over the last decade, it accounts for approximately 13% of all cancer diagnoses and about 25% of all cancer deaths each year in the United States. While anyone can get lung cancer, smoking is the largest contributing factor to lung cancer: smokers account for 80% of all lung cancers diagnosed.
The fact that lung cancer is so common, particularly as a consequence of the popularity of smoking from the 1930s through the 1970s, has led to a great deal of focus and attention on lung cancer in terms of research and treatment. While there were very few therapies available in the 1950s, today there are many different treatment options, including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies.
1. Access to the Latest Treatments
Cancer research continues to yield exciting new results on a regular basis. At Beacon, we remain firmly at the forefront of cancer research by actively participating in clinical trials of new treatment options, while also offering the newest and most-promising FDA-approved therapies. In our clinic, we offer both cutting-edge immunotherapies delivered through an IV, as well as next-generation oral chemotherapies dispensed through our onsite medically integrated dispensary.
Lung cancer usually involves a lot of intensive treatment spread out over a long period of time. Because of this, Beacon Cancer Care has chosen to locate its offices in the Chinook Medical Building, right in the midst of Coeur d’Alene’s medical community, and to make treatment, phlebotomy, pharmacy, financial counseling, and other supportive services easily accessible and available in one location. When a patient has frequent appointments and testing, convenience is crucial for being able to sustain the potentially long treatment regimen. With Beacon, we do our best to make sure our patients get the treatment they need efficiently, causing as little inconvenience as possible.
2. A Holistic Approach to Patient Care
Beacon Cancer Care knows that battling lung cancer goes beyond medicine. Keeping a patient in good spirits and supporting the patient’s family through the process is just as important as the treatment. We know that health outcomes are greatly influenced by the mental and emotional state of our patients, and lung cancer treatment can be taxing, as patients often undergo a long and complex series of therapeutic treatments. It also requires some potential lifestyle changes, including the recommendation to quit smoking if cessation has not already been achieved.
Our supportive services also tackle other aspects of our cancer patients’ lives. In addition to nutritional consultation services, we work with rehabilitative services and even offer financial counseling to help patients navigate insurance questions, provide treatment estimates, and apply for grants and other forms of financial assistance. We also have a weekly visit from our resident pet therapy dog, Mocha!
3. A Team of Experts
Beacon brings together two board-certified oncologists and three advanced practice providers, each with a unique background and experience in the field. But our own oncologists are not our patients’ only resource. Our task is to advise and assist our patients with an overall treatment plan, which usually involves coordination with and referrals to other specialists, medical professionals and industry experts – whatever it takes to make sure our patients obtain the highest quality care and support.
For example, we work with radiation and surgical oncology departments at local hospitals and clinics, as well as with institutions like the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the Huntsman Institute, and the Mayo Clinic. Our goal is to find and recommend the best care possible that conforms to our patients’ priorities and goals of care, and to help them coordinate a comprehensive plan that meets their needs.
4. The Beacon Cancer Care Difference
From the very start, Beacon was founded to be a guiding light for families and patients. Dealing with cancer is often not like other medical challenges. It is a marathon, not a sprint; a medical journey and a whole-life journey. Often it will change a person’s entire life perspective, and it impacts not just our patients, but also their loved ones. Beacon Cancer Care is there to provide support, personalized attention, and hope to patients as they navigate the journey.
If you would like more information about Beacon Cancer Care, fill out our form to schedule an initial consultation. One of our team members will reach out to you to schedule your first visit.