New U.S. Survey Sheds Light on the Experiences of People Caring for Someone Living with Lung Cancer


Survey results reveal caregiving as both a rewarding and demanding experience; respondents cite need for comprehensive resources to support caregivers is one resource providing valuable information for people with lung cancer and their caregivers throughout stages of the disease

Findings released in recognition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month & National Family Caregivers Month

(PRINCETON, NJ, Nov. 2, 2016) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced the findings from a new survey exploring the experiences of caregivers of people living with lung cancer in the U.S. The results reveal that 92 percent of caregivers feel that caring for their loved one is a demanding experience, and nearly all (97%) caregivers report having had to change their lifestyle because of their loved one’s cancer.1 Conversely, 92 percent of respondents also describe their caregiving experience as rewarding.1

There are more than 430,000 people in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point, with more than 224,000 new cases diagnosed annually.2 Prior research has shown that learning a loved one has cancer can have a significant impact on family members, which, in turn, greatly expands the number of people affected by each diagnosis.3 To better understand the experiences and needs of caregivers, Bristol-Myers Squibb fielded a survey to 100 caregivers of people living with lung cancer. The survey was endorsed by CURE magazine, the largest consumer publication in the U.S. focused entirely on cancer. In time for November, which is both Lung Cancer Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month, results of this survey serve as a reminder of the integral role caregivers play in the support of people living with lung cancer.

“When someone receives a lung cancer diagnosis, family members are often thrust into a caregiving role without realizing the magnitude of responsibility and the emotional toll that comes with it, and some of them are also dealing with a family member whose disease has returned,” said Kathy LaTour, co-founder of CURE magazine and a cancer survivor. “With such a large patient population, it’s important to understand the caregiver role for patients living with lung cancer. These survey results have exposed their experience in a way we haven’t seen previously.”

The national survey also reveals that caregivers need their own resources as over two-thirds (68%) struggle with knowing the right questions to ask their loved one’s medical team.1 In fact, nearly all (95%) believe having a “navigator” would be helpful to them in managing their loved one’s care.1 In addition, over nine in ten (94%) caregivers are eager to learn more about the latest lung cancer research, clinical trials, and therapies.1

“These survey results provide great insight into what it means to be caring for a loved one with lung cancer and underscore the caregiver’s role throughout their loved one’s illness – from initial diagnosis and beyond,” said Teresa Bitetti, senior vice president, U.S. Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “As we remain steadfast in our commitment to the lung cancer community, these results will help us ensure that we’re providing the best educational resources and most up-to-date information to patients and their loved ones.”

The overwhelming majority (91%) of those surveyed wish all lung cancer resources and information could be found in one place.1 Bristol-Myers Squibb, with key members of the lung cancer advocacy community, launched the Navigate Lung Cancer website in 2015 for this specific reason. In addition to providing logistical and psychosocial resources, the website offers interactive tools that may help people living with lung cancer and the impact on everyday activities, including the interactive “The Road Ahead” and “Personal Journal.” Visitors to the site can also download educational assets and register to receive emails with helpful tips and supportive messages about what patients or caregivers might be going through.

“Caregivers can often be overlooked,” said Andrea Parks, associate executive director of development and partnerships, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. “We know just how important the role of the caregiver is in helping their loved one ask the right questions, make decisions and manage their disease. But, a diagnosis of lung cancer is challenging and can be devastating, so it’s also important for caregivers to know they are not alone. While we have a way to go in supporting caregivers, the Navigate Lung Cancer website is one of the growing number of resources available to help by offering a comprehensive toolkit for patients - and their caregivers – all in one place.”

Additional Key Findings of the National Survey Include:

  • Three in four (77%) caregivers have trouble finding effective ways to cope with their loved one’s lung cancer.1
  • Sacrifices caregivers make include: reducing the number of social events they attend (62%), limiting the number of hours they spend outside the home (52%), increased spending on medical-related travel for their loved one (48%) and having less time on their own medical care (27%). Further, one in ten (10%) have had to quit their job because of their loved one’s lung cancer.1
  • Over nine in ten (94%) caregivers play an active role in seeking out information about their loved one’s lung cancer and treatment. By the same token, three in four (76%) are concerned about their loved one’s ability to seek out information about his/her disease and available treatment options.1
  • Over eight in ten (85%) are optimistic about the future due to advancements in lung cancer research.1  
  • A similar amount (89%) report finding the right information about lung cancer can be overwhelming.1

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online by Bryter on behalf of Bristol-Myers Squibb between August 31 and September 16, 2016 in the U.S. A total of 100 interviews were conducted among caregivers to current lung cancer patients (not in remission). Bryter abides by the rules and guidelines of the Market Research Society. A full methodology is available upon request.

About Navigate Lung was developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb in partnership with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Foundation, Cancer Research Institute, Cancer Support Community, CancerCare, Free to Breathe, Lung Cancer Alliance, Lung Cancer Foundation of America and LUNGevity. The website provides comprehensive education and resources for people with lung cancer, their caregivers, loved ones and oncology nurses. Additionally, caregivers and people with lung cancer will find advice on how to build their own personal support teams and work with health care teams. Practical day-to-day information, such as the value of journaling to aid caregivers in monitoring their own well-being as well as their loved one’s health, can help families affected by lung cancer cope with the ongoing challenges that can accompany a lung cancer diagnosis. Visit for more information on the latest tools and resources.  

About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, YouTube and Facebook.

About CURE Media Group
Combining science and humanity to make cancer understandable, CURE Media Group’s flagship product, CURE® magazine, is the indispensable guide to every stage of the cancer experience. With nearly 1 million readers, CURE is the largest U.S. consumer publication focused entirely on cancer, with broad distribution to patients with cancer, cancer centers and advocacy groups. CURE Media Group’s offerings also include its online resource,; live meetings; a resource guide for the newly diagnosed; and the Extraordinary Healer™ oncology nursing award. It also offers CURE Connections®, a video platform designed specifically for patients with cancer that features information, stories, advice about the cancer journey and subscription options to receive updates. Cure Media Group is part of Michael J. Hennessy Associates Inc., a full-service health care communications company offering education, research, medical media and the acclaimed OncLive platform of resources for the practicing oncologist.


  1. Bristol-Myers Squibb. Bryter. U.S. Survey of Lung Cancer Caregivers. August 31, 2016 – September 16, 2016.
  2. American Cancer Society. “Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.” May 16, 2016.   
  3. Journal of Oncology Practice. Physical, Psychosocial, Relationship, and Economic Burden of Caring for People with Cancer: A Review. A. Girgis, et. al. 2013. Available at:
Media: Bristol-Myers Squibb Carrie Fernandez 609-897-4957 CURE Media Group Marty Murphy 919-200-3727

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