Joseph S

Joseph S.

Hi, I am Joseph Schiavo, a lung cancer survivor of 11 years and a nonsmoker.

In January of 2013, I was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer.  For most of 2013 I underwent treatment - 8 rounds of chemotherapy, surgery to remove a large portion of my right lung, then 25 treatments of radiation to my chest. I was cancer free for almost four years; then the cancer metastasized to my sacrum and iliac crest in 2017, and again in 2020.  I underwent numerous radiation and other treatments to stop the cancer. The bone cancer and subsequent treatments have caused bone damage to my right hip, and nerve damage to my right leg and foot. 

Currently, I undergo a targeted cancer infusion each month to keep the cancer from spreading, which has been working. Also, I undergo CT and MRI scans every three months to make sure the cancer remains in check.

I am so lucky to be blessed with great doctors that provide amazing care, and family and friends supporting me. Despite my medical condition, I try to seek out the best in every day. I am still here after 11 years, celebrating life!

My journey as a nonsmoker fighting Lung Cancer, has inspired me to be passionate about several things that make it so important for me to share my story.

- Providing Hope to those fighting cancer is a most fulfilling experience. I do this by passionately listening to what they are experiencing and telling my story, when I think it can help with their journey.

-The availability of low dose CT scans to monitor for lung cancer is so important, if smokers want a chance to truly get in front of lung cancer. The American Lung Association’s education programs, including “Saved by the Scan,” are groundbreaking.  But more work needs to be done in education and financial assistance for smokers to take advantage of these programs.

-Cancer treatment is very expensive.  Even if you have good health insurance - deductibles, and certain treatments and drugs that are not covered by insurance add up quickly.  More and more people do not have access to or resources for complex medical care.  We must constantly lobby our government officials on making affordable access to good health care a top priority.

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