Supportive Care in Lung Cancer: Milestones Over the Past 40 Years

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Abstract

The evolution of supportive care in lung cancer (LC) is the focus of this article, which aims to present an overall picture of the developments in the field, highlight milestones over the past four decades, and provide directions for future research and practice. Although in the 1970s this study was minimal, from the 1980s onwards, there was an expansion of the range of topics covered in the literature, reflecting the importance of supportive care to clinical practice. These areas include the identification of supportive care needs in LC, symptoms and symptom management, psychosocial aspects and coping with LC (including support of caregivers), quality of life issues and the development and testing of patient-reported outcomes, the option of best supportive care versus treatment, smoking cessation before and after diagnosis of LC, and service delivery models. This article celebrates the evolution of supportive LC care over the past 40 years alongside recognizing that more work needs to be done in the future and new research foci need to be developed to meet the current needs of patients with LC. The role and the continuous efforts of the International Association of the Study of Lung Cancer, including the sixteenth World Conference on Lung Cancer in 2015 to meet this goal, will be crucial and strategic in the future.

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