Caring for a loved one with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), means you are experiencing cancer alongside them. It is natural to feel tired, or worried, or even overwhelmed.
As a loved one, you are a partner, a friend, a health aid, an advocate, and you may be highly involved in the decision-making process when it comes to potential options. Therefore, it is important that you are informed of the potential options that may be available to you and your loved one.
Until recently most NSCLC were treated similarly, with therapies that destroy dividing cells (both cancer and healthy cells alike). Today, clinical research studies are evaluating the safety and efficacy of investigational medicines (with the goal of targeting certain mutations) to potentially treat NSCLC.
Research studies are currently being conducted on investigational medications specifically for NSCLC that tests positive for mutations to a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). If your loved one has NSCLC that is EGFR-positive, they may be able to take part in one of these studies.
Share this website with your loved one and encourage them to learn about these research studies.
Have your loved one contact our nurses to ask any questions they may have and see if they may qualify to participate in a certain study.
Encourage your loved one to speak with their doctor about biomarker testing, gene mutations & clinical research study participation. You can download a discussion guide to help foster the conversation between your loved one and their physician.
EGFR-positive NSCLC is NSCLC that tests positive for a mutation in the gene that produces a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR. EGFR is involved in cell growth and cell survival. When it mutates, it can cause cancer cells to grow and spread in the body.1 There are both common and rare EGFR mutations.
Research studies are currently being conducted on investigational medications that specifically aim to target mutations in the gene that creates EGFR. If your loved one has NSCLC that is EGFR-positive, they may be able to take part in one of these studies.
Once NSCLC is diagnosed, a biomarker test (sometimes called a "gene test" or "molecular test") may be given to find out which gene mutation, such as a mutation to EGFR, is causing the disease. NSCLC with certain mutations are currently being studied in clinical research studies and this test can be an important tool for determining eligibility and choosing potential options.3
If your loved one does not know if they are EGFR-positive, it’s important to ask whether they should get tested.
You can download a discussion guide here for information you can use during your next conversation with the doctor.
Visit this page to learn more about Biomarker Testing.
These are just some of the many resources specifically created for caregivers like yourself.
National Cancer Institute: Support for caregivers of Cancer
Advice and information for caregivers of friends or family members going through cancer treatment.
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Tips for Lung Cancer
Tips and strategies to help become a successful caregiver for a person being treated for cancer.
American Cancer Society: Caregivers and
Things to think about if you are about to become a caregiver for a person with cancer.
Free, professional support services for caregivers and loved ones, as well as caregiving information and additional resources.
Doctors, caregivers, and patients are partners in the decision-making process, but being a caregiver also requires taking the time to care for your own wellbeing. Please look at the resources above and make sure you visit the NSCLC Support Page to get the support that you may need, because you are battling cancer, too.
The more we learn, the farther we can go.