The National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT) convened the First National Summit on Lung Cancer Stigma on February 26-27 in Atlanta. The summit’s goal was to organize and build momentum for a sustained effort to end lung cancer stigma and its adverse impact on lung cancer care and outcomes across the lung cancer care continuum. Given the evidence demonstrating the toll of stigma on lung cancer risk reduction, early detection, treatment, and survivorship, there is a clear and convincing need for a strategic plan to establish coordinated national and local efforts to confront and eliminate lung cancer stigma in every setting and in every form.
The summit drew 65 participants from 42 organizations, including Dennis Chillemi, LCRF Executive Director, and Dr. Joan H. Schiller, Board Member and Chair, Scientific Steering Committee. Those gathered included lung cancer survivors and caregivers, cancer clinicians and researchers, patient advocacy organizations, professional medical societies, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. “The Lung Cancer Research foundation is committed to working with the NLCRT and its members to develop and implement a national strategy to end lung cancer stigma,” said Chillemi.

Attendees shared their experiences and knowledge, as well as initial ideas for ending lung cancer stigma. The program began with a summary of the history and current status of lung cancer related stigma across the care continuum. Lung cancer survivors, caregivers, and clinicians shared personal stories and perspectives on lung cancer stigma. The first day ended with an overview of the evidence on how lung cancer stigma influences patient care and outcomes.

With lung cancer survivors and advocates integrated across all discussion groups on day two, attendees engaged in extensive dialogue on central issues that must be addressed. The summit concluded with a strong commitment by participants to work towards eliminating lung cancer stigma by banding together and generating a blueprint for reaching that goal. The NLCRT and summit participants will continue to organize efforts and will propose a comprehensive strategic plan to end lung cancer stigma at the 4th annual NLCRT meeting on December 7-8, 2020 in Washington, DC.

See highlights from the summit: