My name is Susan and I was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of 2016 following a lobectomy. I was initially staged as IIIa, but, doctors found a distant tumor prior to any treatment and changed my staging to stage IV.
I'm considered a non-smoker, although I smoked a cigarette here and there in college. But at this point, what caused my cancer doesn't matter. What matters is that, due to late detection, my odds of survival are crummy.
Could it have been caught earlier? Maybe. I was seeing a pulmonologist for asthma issues. When my asthma worsened (cough that wouldn't stop), he changed my meds but didn't send me for an X-ray.
Neither he nor I thought I was a candidate for lung cancer because, I didn't fit the stereotype. It's time to throw that stereotype out. Lung cancer needs increased funding for early detection.
First Published: November 3, 2016
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