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Talking about cancer with loved ones is not easy. Here are a few ideas for things that may be happening at this stage in your journey.

Telling people your cancer has progressed

This may be difficult news to share. It might help to just stick with the basics:

My cancer started progressing, which means it has worsened.

It became resistant to my previous treatment.

I had a new test to uncover what type of resistance the tumors developed.

The test showed that the cancer now has a specific mutation.

My doctor prescribed an oral medicine that specifically targets this new mutation.

If your loved ones want more information, you can direct them to this website to learn more.

Dealing with sensitive topics

You’re bound to get comments or questions you really don’t want to answer. Sometimes it can help to have a few prepared answers to these questions. The person asking them will get the hint and you can steer the conversation in a different direction. Here are a few suggestions:

I’m just not up to talking about that today.

You know, I really don’t feel like talking about cancer today. Can we talk about something else?

I need a little time to process everything, so maybe we can talk about this later.

Thanks for asking about me, but today I’d rather focus on something else.

Just remember, these questions are coming from a good place. The people in your life are asking because they care about you.

EGFR Connects logo EGFR Connects logo EGFR Connects logo

EGFR Connects is an AstraZeneca educational program that provides information and support personalized to your type of lung cancer.

When you sign up for EGFR Connects, you may receive emails with discussion points to help you talk about your therapy with your healthcare team.

Information provided by EGFR Connects is not intended to substitute for the advice of your doctor.

  • A discussion guide to help talk about lung cancer and your therapy with your healthcare team
  • A series of informative e-mails and ongoing support to help you throughout treatment
  • Educational newsletters about TAGRISSO that can be shared with your friends or family
 

What is metastatic EGFR T790M NSCLC?

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. About 85% to 90% of lung cancers are NSCLC. There are three main subtypes: squamous cell, adenocarcinoma, and large cell. The cells in these subtypes differ in size, shape, and chemical makeup when looked at under a microscope.

EGFR, or epidermal growth factor receptor, is a type of protein found on the surface of cells in the body. However, when this protein is mutated and becomes too active, it can lead to cancer growth. Approximately 15% of patients with advanced NSCLC have tumors that are EGFR mutation positive.

Most advanced lung cancer will eventually progress, meaning the cancer will worsen, despite previous treatments. This is because the tumors become resistant to TKI therapy. In people who have EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and have progressed on certain EGFR TKI therapies, the T790M mutation is related to progression of the disease in almost 2 out of 3 cases. T790M is a mutation that develops in response to first-line treatment of the EGFR mutation. It must be detected by a new test after disease progression occurs. Learn more >>

What is TAGRISSO?

TAGRISSO is a prescription medicine used to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). TAGRISSO may be used when your non-small cell lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • has a certain type of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, called T790M, and
  • you have had previous treatment with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor medicine and it has stopped working

Your doctor will perform a test to make sure that TAGRISSO is right for you.

It is not known if TAGRISSO is safe and effective in children.

Learn more >>

How do I take TAGRISSO?

TAGRISSO is a tablet you take once a day. Take it with or without food, at the same time every day. Swallow your TAGRISSO tablet whole, with water. Learn more >>

What are the side effects of TAGRISSO?

TAGRISSO may cause serious side effects, including:

  • lung problems. TAGRISSO may cause lung problems that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung symptoms, including trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, or fever
  • heart problems, including heart failure. TAGRISSO may cause heart problems that may lead to death. Your doctor should check your heart function before you start taking TAGRISSO and during treatment as needed. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of a heart problem: feeling like your heart is pounding or racing, shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles and feet, feeling lightheaded
  • eye problems. TAGRISSO may cause eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems which may include watery eyes, sensitivity to light, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes. Your doctor may send you to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if you get eye problems with TAGRISSO

The most common side effects of TAGRISSO are:

  • diarrhea
  • rash
  • dry skin
  • changes in your nails, including: redness, tenderness, pain, inflammation, brittleness, separation from nailbed, and shedding of nails
  • tiredness

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of TAGRISSO. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more >>

What may TAGRISSO do for me?

Your metastatic EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has changed in a way that TAGRISSO was designed to help treat.

When you were first diagnosed, the biopsy of your tumor determined that you had NSCLC, and a test confirmed that the cancer cells had the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) mutation. Your treatment included a targeted therapy—specifically a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). The TKI therapy was designed to attach to the EGFR proteins with the goal of slowing down the growth of the cancer cells or making the tumors smaller. This line of therapy may have helped your tumors to shrink, or stay the same size, for a period of time.

But now, your NSCLC has progressed, meaning your cancer has worsened despite previous treatments. Your doctor may perform another test that may show your tumor has a secondary mutation to EGFR called T790M.

You’re not alone. In people who have EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and have progressed on certain EGFR TKI therapies, the T790M mutation is related to progression of the disease in almost 2 out of 3 cases. So AstraZeneca has created a treatment called TAGRISSO that targets the T790M mutation. It may help shrink tumors—and your doctor has prescribed it for you.

Learn more >>

What should I tell my doctor before starting TAGRISSO?

Before taking TAGRISSO, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems
  • have heart problems, including a condition called long QTc syndrome
  • have problems with your electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium or magnesium
  • have a history of eye problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. TAGRISSO can harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with TAGRISSO or think you may be pregnant.
    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 6 weeks after the final dose of TAGRISSO
    • Males who have female partners that are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 4 months after the final dose of TAGRISSO
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TAGRISSO passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 2 weeks after your final dose of TAGRISSO. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during this time

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take a heart or blood pressure medicine.

Learn more >>

How do I tell people in my life that my cancer has progressed?

It may be difficult news to share, so it might help to just stick with the basics:

  • Your cancer started progressing
  • It became resistant to your previous treatment
  • You had a new test to uncover what type of resistance the tumors developed
  • The test showed that the cancer now has a specific mutation
  • Your doctor prescribed a medicine that specifically targets this new mutation

Learn more>>

Are there any financial support programs for TAGRISSO?

Assistance may be available to you for streamlined access to AstraZeneca medicines. To find out more, visit this site or call 1-844-ASK-A360 (1-844-275-2360).

These dedicated organizations have resources available to you.

The American Cancer Society offers a variety of programs and resources.

www.cancer.org

1-800-227-2345

1-800-227-2345

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation funds research, offers resources for patients, and raises awareness.

www.lungcancerfoundation.org

1-650-598-2857

1-650-598-2857

Free To Breathe is a partnership of lung cancer patients, advocates, and professionals.

www.freetobreathe.org

1-608-833-7905

1-608-833-7905

GRACE, the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education, provides news and information from cancer experts on cancer management and treatment.

www.cancergrace.org

1-888-501-1025

1-888-501-1025

 

Lung Cancer Alliance supports research and education nationwide.

www.lungcanceralliance.org

1-800-298-2436

1-800-298-2436

Lungcancer.org by CancerCare® offers free services and support for people with lung cancer, including support groups, financial assistance, and more.

www.lungcancer.org

1-800-813-HOPE(4673)

1-800-813-HOPE(4673)

LUNGevity helps people through support, education, and research.

www.lungevity.org

1-312-407-6100

1-312-407-6100

LVNG With Lung Cancer is a community of people like you who are inspiring each other to face each day with authenticity and hope.

www.LVNG.com www.facebook.com/lvngwith

1-800-236-9933

1-800-236-9933

Cancer

A group of many diseases that happen when cells in the body grow and divide out of control, and older cells don’t die out as they should.

Cancer cells

Cells that make copies of themselves when they shouldn’t and spread throughout the body, interfering with normal cells.

Cardiomyopathy

Diseases of the heart muscle that cause it to become enlarged, rigid or thick due to a variety of causes and symptoms.

Changes in nails

Redness, tenderness, pain, inflammation, brittleness, separation from nailbed, and shedding of nails that may occur as a side effect.

Chemotherapy

Drug therapy that can kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is not designed to affect a specific process, so it may affect both healthy and cancerous cells

Diarrhea

Loose watery stools that come more than three times in a day, along with bloating, cramps and an urgent need to use the bathroom.

DoR: Duration of response

The amount of time that a cancer responds to a specific treatment, from the time that the cancer stops growing to the time that it begins to progress again.

Dry skin

Abnormal dryness, sometimes with itching, rash, or skin fissures, that may occur as a side effect.

EGFR: Epidermal growth factor receptor

is a protein that may be found on the surface of some cells. When mutated, EGFR plays a role in causing cancer cells to grow and spread as tumors.

Embryo-fetal toxicity

When a medicine has the ability to harm the development of an unborn baby.

ILD: Interstitial lung disease

A condition that damages the lungs with swelling (inflammation) and scarring, causing shortness of breath and/or difficult breathing.

Median

The middle number in a group of numbers arranged from lowest to highest.

Mutation

A change that happens in the DNA of a cell. Not all mutations cause cancer, but all cancers are thought to be the result of mutations.

NSCLC: Non-small cell lung cancer

is one of two main types of lung cancer, and is the most common.

Progression

When cancer cells grow or spread.

Protein

A large molecule that is important for many of the processes that happen in and around cells in the body.

QTc interval prolongation

A problem with the heart’s electrical activity that can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.

Rash

Irritated, itchy, red, and/or swollen skin.

Resistance

When cancer cells are no longer harmed by the drugs used to kill or disrupt them. Tumors can be resistant from the start or become resistant in the course of treatment.

Side effect

An unwanted reaction in the body from a treatment or therapy.

Targeted therapy, targeted treatment

A cancer treatment that is designed to affect a specific activity in the cells.

TKI: A tyrosine kinase inhibitor

is a substance that prevents enzymes called tyrosine kinases from working. These enzymes are involved in the growth and division of cancer cells. TKIs are a type of targeted therapy.

Tumor

A mass or lump made up of cancer cells.

T790M

A secondary mutation that happens in tumors that are EGFR mutation positive. When T790M is present, the cells can develop a resistance to the TKI being used as a treatment.

TAGRISSO may cause serious side effects, including:

  • lung problems. TAGRISSO may cause lung problems that may lead to death. Symptoms may be similar to those symptoms from lung cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening lung symptoms, including trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough, or fever

  • heart problems, including heart failure. TAGRISSO may cause heart problems that may lead to death. Your doctor should check your heart function before you start taking TAGRISSO and during treatment as needed. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of a heart problem: feeling like your heart is pounding or racing, shortness of breath, swelling of your ankles and feet, feeling lightheaded

  • eye problems. TAGRISSO may cause eye problems. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of eye problems which may include watery eyes, sensitivity to light, eye pain, eye redness, or vision changes. Your doctor may send you to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) if you get eye problems with TAGRISSO

Before taking TAGRISSO, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have lung or breathing problems

  • have heart problems, including a condition called long QTc syndrome

  • have problems with your electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium or magnesium

  • have a history of eye problems

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. TAGRISSO can harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with TAGRISSO or think you may be pregnant.

    • Females who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 6 weeks after the final dose of TAGRISSO
    • Males who have female partners that are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 4 months after the final dose of TAGRISSO
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if TAGRISSO passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with TAGRISSO and for 2 weeks after your final dose of TAGRISSO. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby during this time

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take a heart or blood pressure medicine.

The most common side effects of TAGRISSO are:

  • diarrhea

  • rash

  • dry skin

  • changes in your nails, including: redness, tenderness, pain, inflammation, brittleness, separation from nailbed, and shedding of nails

  • tiredness

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of TAGRISSO. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.1-800-FDA-1088.

What is TAGRISSO?

TAGRISSO is a prescription medicine used to treat non-small cell lung cancer... read more (NSCLC). TAGRISSO may be used when your non-small cell lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body and:

  • has a certain type of abnormal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene, called T790M, and

  • you have had previous treatment with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor medicine and it has stopped working

Your doctor will perform a test to make sure that TAGRISSO is right for you.

It is not known if TAGRISSO is safe and effective in children.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information including Patient Information.