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Richard M., PA

In 2016, my primary care physician recommended yearly screening lung CT scans. I had a 40 history of cigarette smoking and had developed a chronic cough. She also sent me for pulmonary function tests which revealed COPD. 

The first screening CT was clear. In 2017 there was a very small finding which they thought was nothing. However,  in January 2019, a 1.5 cm nodule as discovered. I was referred to a pulmonologist (I had resisted seeing one previously) and diagnosed with stage 3 COPD. 

My pulmonologist (who is amazing) discussed options. I went for a PET scan which supported a diagnosis of cancer. I quit smoking immediately,  which was very hard but now I am smoke free since January 12, 2019.

iI was referred to a thoracic surgeon (who was also amazing). I also looked into getting opinions from other facilities but from what I read the surgeon's plan was in line with what they would do.

On March 27. 2019 I had surgery. First the performed a wedge resection and sent for biopsy while I was in the OR. Non small cell lung cancer was confirmed and the surgeon proceeded to remove the entire right upper lobe.

I have been having screening CT scans every 6 months now, and these have been clear. I am doing great, I just have to pace myself. Stairs and hills are hard.

tthe decision to get the screening CT scans probably saved my life. I am forever grateful to my PCP and the entire treatment team.

First Published: August 19, 2020

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