Cancer specialists and nurses are rapidly losing patients due to lung cancer stigma, and they have had enough. Lung Foundation Australia has thus sided with them by launching their new ‘Free From Stigma!’ (FFS!) campaign, whose colloquial initials reflect the frustration of the lung cancer community and their desire to be rid of stigma.
Image taken from the lung foundation Australia Website
Mary Duffy is an Advanced Practice Nurse Lung Cancer Nurse at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, who decided to support the campaign to ‘do my bit for the people I care for… and begin the eradication of the shame and stigma tagged to lung cancer’. Since working at the Cancer Centre, she has been impressed by the humility of lung cancer patients and felt morally obliged to help them. She is excited by the rapid progress in lung cancer and thoracic malignancies, and how this can improve patient experience and results.
As Mary wisely points out, lung cancer treatment in Australia receives disproportionate funding, and highlights the need for more research. She also stresses the importance of MDTS (Multi-Disciplinary Team), made up of clinical and non-clinical staff with varying expertise, in enhancing and reviewing care and outcomes for patients.
Mary is clearly aware of the importance of treating lung cancer patients and ending stigma. It is important for us to challenge all forms of stigma as we seek to improve care.