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First Public Perception Survey Shows Nearly 70% of Hongkongers Think Late-Stage Lung Cancer Patients Have Little Hope

2017-05-18 18:47
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-"A Breath of Hope" Campaign Brings Hope to Lung Cancer Patients and Supports them "Living with Lung Cancer"

HONG KONG, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group (HKLCSG) today announces the results of the first survey that looks at how Hong Kong people think about the psychological challenges facing lung cancer patients. The survey, conducted online in April 2017 by an independent third-party research agency, polled 1,029 people in Hong Kong above the age of 18. Key findings include:

Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group announces the results of the survey that looks at how Hong Kong people think about the psychological challenges facing lung cancer patients. (L-R) Mr Wang Pui Lung, Senior Manager, St. James’ Settlement; Miss Wong, Lung Caner Patient; Dr. Patricia Poon, Clinical Oncologist, council member of HKLCSG, Dr. Siu-Kie Au, Clinical Oncologist, President of HKLCSG, Dr. Angus Leung, Clinical Oncologist, member of HKLCSG, Dr. Stephen Yau, Clinical Oncologist, member of HKLCSG
Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group announces the results of the survey that looks at how Hong Kong people think about the psychological challenges facing lung cancer patients. (L-R) Mr Wang Pui Lung, Senior Manager, St. James’ Settlement; Miss Wong, Lung Caner Patient; Dr. Patricia Poon, Clinical Oncologist, council member of HKLCSG, Dr. Siu-Kie Au, Clinical Oncologist, President of HKLCSG, Dr. Angus Leung, Clinical Oncologist, member of HKLCSG, Dr. Stephen Yau, Clinical Oncologist, member of HKLCSG

  • Nearly 70% of the respondents feel that patients with late-stage lung cancer have little hope left.
  • "Lack of treatment options" and "side effects from treatment" are considered to be the two main reasons for patients at late-stage to lose hope.
  • Negativity is considered to affect the psychological well-being of late-stage lung cancer patients the most.
  • Approximately 70% of the respondents feel that the general public should provide emotional support to lung cancer patients and their caregivers, whereas nearly 60% feel raising awareness will help.

Personalised treatment brings hope to late-stage lung cancer patients

"Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers globally and in Hong Kong, and the leading cause of cancer death in the city. The survey reveals that most Hongkongers don't think there is a treatment for late-stage lung cancer, and patients lose hope due to limited treatment options and treatment side effects," says Dr. Siu-Kie Au, Clinical Oncologist and President of HKLCSG. "As a matter of fact, medical advances are now offering more new treatment options with less side effects to late-stage lung cancer patients, especially for those with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients can now live longer and have a better quality of life."

Most lung cancers are divided into two main types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC is the most common lung cancer type, accounting for about 80-85% of lung cancers.1 Medical studies have discovered that the growth of some lung cancers depends on the presence of certain driver gene mutations in cancer, such as EGFR and ALK. EGFR mutation is the most common type of driver gene mutation in lung cancer present in the tumors of about 30-40% of Asian with late-stage NSCLC.2

Mutation testing plays an important role in helping identify the mutation and guide treatment options. When late-stage NSCLC progresses after first-line targeted therapy, the testing of EGFR T790M may help find out if the cancer has developed further mutation that causes resistance to the treatment and if a personalized treatment can be used to control the progression.

Psychological well-being and raising public awareness help bring hope to patients in the fight against lung cancer

Results of the survey show that most respondents believe patients face psychological challenges. "Negativity" is considered to affect patients the most. Dr. Angus Leung, Clinical Oncologist and member of HKLCSG, echoes the survey results and says, "Nowadays there are more treatment options available. However, patients go on an emotional rollercoaster through first-line treatment, improvement, progression, and second line treatment. Staying positive comes before any effective treatment.  As our survey results show, family, friends and caregivers can best support the patients by staying positive and embracing reality."

Dr. Patricia Poon, Clinical Oncologist and council member of HKLCSG adds, "With my own patients, I have seen many of their families, friends and caregivers form a support group to partner with doctors to encourage patients, and help them spend more quality time with their loved ones."   

The survey results indicate that Hongkongers think the public should provide more emotional support to lung cancer patients and one way to help is to raise public awareness. Dr. Stephen Yau, Clinical Oncologist and member of HKLCSG says, "We are delighted to see that the public thinks society should offer more emotional support. HKLCSG is responding to that call to action by organising a series of activities to create a channel for the public to get involved. We look forward to seeing everyone there."

"A Breath of Hope" Campaign brings hope to lung cancer patients and supports them "Living with Lung Cancer"

For those living with lung cancer, each breath is a treasure and a celebration of life. HKLCSG is launching a large-scale educational campaign called "A Breath of Hope -- Living with Lung Cancer" this year to support lung cancer patients and help them fight against the disease. The campaign hosts an educational website (www.livingwithlungcancer.asia) that provides information and resources to help patients and the general public understand more about lung cancer.

The campaign starts with a four-day exhibition - "Sending a Breath of Hope to Lung Cancer Patients" -- at iSQUARE at Tsim Sha Tsui on 18 -- 21 May. The public is invited to take photos at the creative photo booths and share them online, and send calligraphy postcards with good wishes to support lung cancer patients. For every photo taken and shared or every postcard sent, "A Breath of Hope" campaign organiser will donate HK$5 to St. James' Settlement to support cancer care.

In the coming few months, "A Breath of Hope" will invite lung cancer patients and their family and caregivers to participate in various activities to support them along their journey of "Living with Lung Cancer". Potential activities include breathing exercises with a Qi Gong master, cooking for cancer patients, and physiotherapy to relieve pain. For more information, please visit the official website (www.livingwithlungcancer.asia).

About HKLCSG

The Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group (HKLCSG) is a charitable institution established in 2003 by a group of oncology specialists. The objectives of the HKLCSG are to promote interest in the knowledge of lung cancer, to facilitate research for improving the knowledge and treatment of lung cancer, and to improve the standard of care for patients with lung cancer.

About "A Breath of Hope -- Living with Lung Cancer" Campaign

"A Breath of Hope -- Living with Lung Cancer" is a campaign supported by Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group (HKLCSG), aimed at raising public awareness of lung cancer and providing support to patients and their families and caregivers. The campaign logo features a dandelion to symbolise life through all challenges and difficulties and sending good wishes. "A Breath of Hope" hosts an educational website that provides information and resources about lung cancer. In the coming months, the campaign will run a series of events to support lung cancer patients and their families and caregivers. To find out more about the campaign and how you can help, please visit: www.livingwithlungcancer.asia.

About St. James' Settlement

St. James' Settlement established in 1949, is a multi-social service agency. It provides high quality comprehensive services to meet the diverse needs of the society, to encourage individuals to help themselves and to help others, and hence to build an integrated and harmonious community.

In 2009, The Philanthropic Community Pharmacy was established under St. James' Settlement. It is the first nonprofit community pharmacy in Hong Kong aimed at making self-financed items prescribed by hospitals and clinics under the Hospital Authority available at an affordable price to deprived patients. Apart from alleviating their financial burden for drug expenses, St James' Settlement provides holistic care to the patients, ranging from enhancing awareness towards proper medication usage, promoting public health education to comprehensive oncology support.

References:

1.

American Cancer Society. Lung Cancer (Non-Small Cell). Available at: https://old.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003115-pdf.pdf. Accessed 17 Jan 2017.

2.

Li L, et al. Epidermal growth factor receptor mutation analysis in cytological specimens and responsiveness to gefitinib in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. Chin J Cancer Res. 2015;27(3):294-300.


461,612.022  16/05/2017

Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20170518/1854252-1

Source: Hong Kong Lung Cancer Study Group (HKLCSG)

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