Meeting Abstract

JL310. Pilot Evaluations of Experiences of Early Stage Post-Surgical Lung Cancer Survivors

Kathleen Hopkins, PhD, RN, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA




  

ABSTRACT

Background: Over 220,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Although only 15% are diagnosed at an early stage, with the possibility of curative surgery, this population numbers over 165,000 annual survivors. The purpose of this study was to describe the first year lived experiences of these post-surgical early stage lung cancer survivors. Research Approach: Open-ended interviews.

Setting: A large university based surgical cancer center located in the northeastern United States. Participants: 15 early-stage post-surgical lung cancer survivors. Methodologic Approach: Interpretive phenomenology based on Heideggarian hermeneutics and revealing the subjects’ post-operative lived experiences. Main Research Variables: The lived experiences and early stage lung cancer survivors within their first post-operative year, themes and patterns from these experiences. Findings: Although patients often did not complain, experience impacted patient and are described in 4 themes: (1) thankfulness of an incidental diagnosis, (2) surprise reactions to post-surgical procedures (chest-tubes, narcotics), (3) the annoyance of concurrent symptoms (pain, fatigue, mood disorders, cough, shortness of breath), and (4) acceptance and striving for a new sense of normalcy. Conclusions: A larger study to better investigate the experiences from diagnosis to survival of lung cancer survivors.




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