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Ernestine T.

I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in Nov, 2013 after having an MRI of my lower back done to determine causes of right leg pain. Never had any lung issues up to that point and never smoked. A biopsy was done of the tumor seen in the MRI to determine the type of cancer and that is when it showed as lung cancer.

I know that there is now a test approved for those who smoke a certain quantity of cigarettes a day; however that does not help those of us who never smoked or were exposed to secondhand smoke, yet develop lung cancer.

We need to be able to provide a method of testing that is done during routine annual physicals that looks at the lungs. That test in the past has been the low radiation X-ray.

My doctor stopped doing those as routine a long time ago. It needs to be added back as part of the annual physical and then followed up with additional testing if something unusual is seen.

Anyone with lungs can develop lung cancer during their lifetime and early detection has to include those who never smoked. Especially now that the number of lung cancer cases is going up and so many are discovered too late, when the cancer has already spread.

I was one of those who went for an annual checkup every year and had just had mine a short time before my diagnoses.

First published: October 27, 2016

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