Finding an Alternate Strategy
At this point in your treatment, your Care Team may recommend several possible options including staying on your current treatment, or changing treatment to: radiation, surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or a new ALK-inhibitor therapy. Your tumor(s) can also become resistant to one therapy but may still be responsive to another, including others from the same class. This is why your Care Team may switch you to another therapy and feel confident with your chance of achieving success. At this point, the goal is to stop the growth of the tumor(s) and prevent progression.
It's important that you feel comfortable with and weigh in on the next step in your treatment plan and that you understand all the options presented. Ask questions—as many as you need in order to be informed.
You need to remember that with all the advancements in this category over the past 10 years, it is likely there is more that can be done for you. Your time without progression since the start of your first treatment is already a win and now you must focus on your next win.
Your healthcare team may talk with you about enrolling in a clinical trial. You should talk with your treating healthcare provider about whether or not this is an option for you and the risks associated with participating in clinical trials.
To make things easier for you, we have provided the link to Clinicaltrials.gov, a global database of clinical studies underway.
Regardless of which option your Care Team selects, you need to feel comfortable with the plan of action. You are an important part of the decision-making process and you have a say in your treatment plan.
What to Tell Care Partners
Since your ALK+ lung cancer has progressed, you may want to update your Care Partners on how your treatment plan is changing.
Let them know they don’t have to feel sorry for you. There are still options available to you and you are continuing your fight against ALK+ lung cancer.
Maintaining Control of Your Life
It’s still your life and you are in charge. While cancer requires changes in how you live your life, you can still keep up with your daily routines if you feel well enough. Be aware of any changes in your health, and always check with your Care Team and follow their recommendations.
Talk with your doctor about:
- Spending time with family and friends
- Going to work
- Taking part in activities and hobbies
- Going on trips and travel
We know that having conversations with others who are not your Care Team can be difficult and embarrassing. To make these conversations a little easier, we've selected five resources: Teaming Up With Your Partner | Balancing Your Family | Talking to Your Children | Daily Routine | and Resuming Work. These have excellent tips on how to navigate these hard discussions.
Be Your Own Advocate!
Be proactive and seek resources, ask questions, and talk openly with your Care Team and Care Partner.
And Something for
Your Care Partners…
You can lean on your support system—don’t feel like you are a burden.
Share this with your Care Partner so he or she can learn how to provide the support you need and deserve.