Lung cancer and family-centered patient concerns

Josephine Feliciano, Breanna Becker, Manish Shukla, Joann Bodurtha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The risk factors, diagnosis, management, and outcomes for lung cancer (LC) are a family experience. Genetic and environmental factors interact to predispose certain groups to LC, including family member, and the family or caregiving unit experiences the disease course as an interdependent group. This qualitative study examined the concerns and preferences of LC patients about incorporating family in addressing their lung cancer experiences and cancer risks. Methods: This project aims to identify concerns and preferences for addressing family history documentation, risk assessment, prevention, and follow-up issues for LC patients and their family. We held focus groups (FG) to discuss the format and timing of addressing these preferences and concerns. The qualitative data was analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: 7 FG totaling 17 participants were conducted. The mean age was 64. All patients had advanced lung cancer. Participants included five males; nine African-Americans; three current, 11 former and three never smokers. Five participants had parents or grandparents with LC. Two had siblings with LC. Six themes were identified: (1) Varied journeys to LC diagnosis. (2) Mixed patient perceptions of cancer causation. (3) Limited documentation and utilization of family history. (4) Diverse attitudes toward smoking cessation. (5) A range of discussions about cancer risk, prevention, and screening. (6) Implications for implementation of family-centered cancer care and health promotion. Conclusions: The diagnosis of LC, its management, and outcomes occur in the family context. The diagnosis represents a potential teachable moment with opportunity to reduce the risk of LC development or improve early detection in a population at higher risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer patients are interested in discussing risk factors, prevention, and diagnosis of lung cancer for their relatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3047-3053
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Cancer communication
  • Family
  • Family history
  • Lung cancer
  • Risk
  • Supportive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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