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Increasing Your Chances of Being Cured From Lung Cancer

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Published on June 23, 2015

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, emotions and thoughts become overwhelming and daunting. Dr. Scott Antonia explains how he encourages patients to embrace how they feel momentarily, but then how important it is to move on. Treatment and getting healthy, or being cured, should become the priority. And a patient cannot do that if they have fallen apart and lost sight of the end goal. Dr. Antonia shares the Four Steps patients must follow to join a path of recovery.

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I could just feel this whole audience being uplifted in hope and in survivorship and getting the message from all these professionals. This just opens medicine up tremendously.

— Richard, Lung Cancer town meeting attendee and care partner

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Moffitt Cancer Center LUNGevity Foundation

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Patient Empowerment Network

Transcript | Increasing Your Chances of Being Cured From Lung Cancer

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. 

Mark:

Good afternoon. My name is Mark. In addition to whatever individual treatment I’m prescribed, is there anything else I can be doing in terms of diet, exercise, lifestyle, anything I can do to increase my chances? 

Dr. Antonia:        

Some of my patients in this room have heard me say this. I can help out a bit with the things that I do, but patients can help themselves immensely by doing four things. And the family needs to do the fifth thing.  The first thing is keep a positive attitude. 

I agree with Cynthia.  If you’re not upset by having lung cancer, then there’s something wrong with you, and I send you to a psychiatrist.  But then I give people 48 hours to feel that way, patients in the room here? And then you’re to put it behind you and move forward and get back into the business of living. Try to put the anxiety aside and live day to day and have a positive mental outlook. It matters. People who do that live longer.  People who do that have fewer symptoms.  People who do that can be cured.

Not everybody can be cured. But people with a curable condition have a greater likelihood of being cured. I see it every day.  The next thing is exercise. Again, you heard from both Pam and Tony here.  Pam couldn’t even walk from the bathroom to the whatever. Antonia is telling me to go out for a walk.  What a jerk that that Antonia guy is.  But every single one of my patients hear that, and they do it. And people who stay physically active during this whole process do better.

They get less side effects, etc.  Diet, there’s nothing special about diet. I don’t know everything, so maybe there is something. I don’t know anything about diet that helps. I do know that losing weight isn’t a good idea.  If you’re losing weight, your body is kind of in a breakdown state. So I like people to keep their weight stable. Don’t obsess about anything I say. A pound or two here and there doesn’t matter because that just creates anxiety by itself.

But keeping your weight pretty stable is a good thing.  And then the last thing I tell the family, and it’s what I do, don’t feel sorry for this guy. I won’t. And I never do. And I encourage the families not to. Think about it. People feeling sorry for you makes you feel sick.  And people want to live their life. They don’t want to be felt sorry for.

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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