LUNG FORCE Hero Martha S. shares how she was "Saved By The Scan" and why she hopes her story will inspire others.
Lung cancer screening is key to saving more lives of those at high risk for the disease. I know because a scan saved me.
When I was undergoing physical therapy for a knee injury, I noticed a poster at the medical center advertising low-dose CT scans for early detection of lung cancer. I had smoked for more than 20 years, and even though I had quit, I knew that I was likely at high risk for lung cancer. I spoke with my doctor about lung cancer screening and decided to have the test. The scan revealed a small nodule that the doctors chose to monitor for three months. After the nodule showed growth, it was surgically removed and tests proved that it was lung cancer.
My lung cancer was found early and I didn't require any further treatment. I have an annual follow-up scan and have been blessed to remain cancer-free. I am truly someone who was "Saved By The Scan" and I am so glad to partner with LUNG FORCE on this campaign.
Unfortunately, so many current and former smokers who may be eligible for lung cancer screening aren't aware that they are at high risk. In fact, it is estimated that less than 5 percent of those who are at high risk for lung cancer have been screened.
By increasing awareness of the availability of screening, we can help save the lives of more current and former smokers. I encourage anyone who may be at high risk to take the lung cancer screening eligibility quiz at SavedByTheScan.org and talk to their doctor. Self-advocacy was so important in my journey, and I hope that my story will encourage others to take the first step.
Surviving lung cancer inspired me to get involved with the American Lung Association and support others who are facing lung cancer. I have participated in two LUNG FORCE Walks and volunteer at a local hospital’s cancer support group. It was important to focus on being a survivor, not only for my husband and myself but for my children and grandchildren as well.
I believe we need additional research funding to discover new methods of early detection and to develop more personalized treatments for those who are diagnosed with lung cancer.
I work hard to make a difference because anyone with lungs can get lung cancer. My goal is to remain at the forefront of the fight against lung cancer, and I am proud to be a LUNG FORCE Hero!