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10-Year Lung Cancer Survivor: Advice for Newly Diagnosed Patients

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Published on April 3, 2017

Dr. Michael Weitz, an emergency physician, has been living with lung cancer for over 10 years. He's currently enrolled in his third clinical trial. He explains his methods for living day-to-day with lung cancer and the importance of recognizing the uniqueness of your own disease. As a patient advocate, Dr. Weitz continues to encourage others living with cancer through his work at the Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

Produced by Patient Power and Antidote in association with the Precision Medicine for Me initiative.

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Transcript | 10-Year Lung Cancer Survivor: Advice for Newly Diagnosed Patients

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Dr. Weitz:

What you will find is that you will live with lung cancer 24/7 when you're first diagnosed, that will go away.  That pit in the stomach that you have will eventually go away, and then you learn to live life day by day and to take each day as a blessing.  And don't look back and just stay in the moment.  That's the best advice I can give you.  

It's also very important to have an advocate on your side, because you'll just be bombarded.  You won't remember anything.  It's really important to chronicle your journey.  Whether it's a friend, a loved one, someone who can help you chronicle your journey, go to your doctors’ appointments, help you remember the questions you want to ask your doctor.  

Another really important thing is to make sure that you have a good working relationship with that doctor and that he doesn't rob you of any hope you might have.  So I would recommend going to a thoracic oncologist. It's best if you could get one who has an affiliation with a university, because that's where the cutting-edge research is, and that's going to give you your best options.  

But don't let anyone tell you that you have three to six months to live or 48 months to live, because they don't know, no one knows.  Everyone has got their own unique genetic profile. I was told I had 48 months to live.  Here I am working on 11 years.  I'm an over 10-year survivor.  Now, it has been a bumpy road, but I'm still working. I still have quality of life. I have been blessed and hopefully you will be too. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

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