user icon

Teresa D., KY

Hello my name is Teresa I am a 54 year old Kentucky resident. I am a former cigarette smoker of 30 years. I have been a Registered nurse for 32 years. I quit smoking cigarettes September of 2022.

During a community health forum December of 2022 I learned that the age for low dose CT screening for lung cancer had been reduced to age 50 from age 55 for those with risk factors.

I spoke with my family provider in January 2023 and she ordered a low dose CT screening. I think its important to say that I was symptom free. I did not have a cough or shortness of breath. On February 14th 2023 I received a low dose CT screen which showed a 11 mm nodule in the upper lobe of my left lung. Because a nodule was found a 6 month follow up CT was recommended. August 1st 2023, 6 months later, I had a repeat low dose CT which showed the nodule had grown to 12.6 mm and changed shape. The following week I had a Pet scan on August 7th which was clear.  August 8th I had a CT guided needle biopsy which was positive for adenocarcinoma. It is my understanding that the cancer was to small to be picked up by the PET scan. On August 31st I was admitted into the hospital to undergo a left upper lobectomy.

All of the cancer was contained within the left upper lobe with the exception of a small invasion abutting the visceral pleura. All of the surrounding lymph nodes that were biopsied were cancer free. Because of the visceral invasion the cancerous mass was given a stage of 1b.  The mass was positive for PDL-1 by 3% and there were no mutations  identified.

Because of the 1b staging diagnosis I am at high risk of the cancer returning. Recently 1b lung cancer was approved for treatment with chemotherapy followed by immunotherapy. I recently completed 4 rounds of chemotherapy and am currently receiving Keytruda ( immunotherapy) every 3 weeks through December 2024.

Because of the early detection through screening my cancer was caught sooner than later. I am thankful to God for this disease being found in a curable stage. I am currently cancer free and taking the recommended treatments to stay cancer free.  I hope that by telling my story others will be motivated to request a low dose CT screen and are made aware that you can receive your screening at age 50. I often think what my outcome would have looked like if I had  waited to receive my screen at age 55. 

Freedom From Smoking Clinic - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA | Sep 03, 2024
COPD Educator Course
, | Oct 17, 2024