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Susan T.

Three years ago I felt sick with what I believed was my annual case of bronchitis. So, when I went to see my physician to get my medicine, I didn't think it would be anything different than previous trips to the doctor. However, when the doctor suspected something different, my diagnosis would be more than just a cold. I was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2013. Now, I'm hoping my story will encourage others to push for CT-scans if they have concerns.

Doctors removed a cancerous tumor from my lungs. During the surgery doctors wanted to remove what they thought to be a noncancerous tumor, but were unable to locate it and did not want to disturb any healthy tissue. However, a year to the date after my first surgery, what doctors believed to be the tumor they were unable to locate in the original surgery returned and this time it was cancerous. I had the lower left lobe of my lung removed. It took a lot out of me; I'm tired quite often now. It's also always in the back of my mind what if the cancer spreads somewhere else. My diagnosis was unexpected, but I'm grateful my doctors pushed me to get a CT-scan because the cancer may not have been caught in time and could have been found later than Stage 1. My mother died from lung cancer and I just assumed that I would die from it too, that scan saved my life.

I want others who might be concerned about their health or who may have been a smoker to consider getting a CT-scan or talk to their doctor about if screening is right for them.

First published: March 4, 2016

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