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Andrea H.

A few decades back, my grandmother, Adele, discovered that she had lung cancer. The spot on her lung had been discovered via a scan - fortunately completed as part of another procedure. The cancer was early stage. She had a portion of her lung removed, the cancer did not recur and she was able to live many more years. Had she not had the stroke of luck for the cancer to be discovered, I wouldn't have known my grandmother. She wouldn't have been able to surprise me at my first piano recital. She wouldn't have been able to dance at my bat mitzvah.

Even today, my grandmother would have needed a stroke of luck for her lung cancer to be discovered. She smoked, but only lightly for a few years before she'd had children and therefore wouldn't have been a candidate for screening. For patients like my grandmother, we need to invest in research to find better methods of early detection for lung cancer. We can't keep relying on luck.

First published: September 9, 2019

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