Did you know that in the United States alone, someone is diagnosed with lung cancer every two and a half minutes? Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. More die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
While a major contributor, smoking isn’t the only cause of lung cancer. Other known causes include exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, radon, and asbestos. There are things you can do that may reduce your risk, such as changing the risk factors that you can control. However, when the diagnosis comes and the cause is unknown – similar to Karen’s case – the focus shifts to hope and healing.
Danielle Smith is a Project Director here at MedSource. Danielle graciously tells the story of her mother, Karen, and her battle with lung cancer to honor her and to spread awareness on World Lung Cancer Day.
In 2004, Karen had been complaining of pain in her left cheek. Biopsy results followed by a PET scan revealed a tumor at the right plural junction of her lung. Because the tumor had crossed her midline, Karen was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. The oncologist predicted that Karen had only nine months to live.
Karen was determined to fight and wanted to live longer, especially for her newly adopted granddaughter from Russia who was just two years of age at the time.
Along with several rounds of chemotherapy, Karen participated in multiple research trials. She not only hoped that it would cure her, but she felt that she was doing something for the greater good of other cancer patients.
Though she long outlived the oncologists’ predictions, Karen passed away on November 11, 2014. Her granddaughter was eleven years old.
The pace of FDA approvals for lung cancer treatments has been accelerating in recent decades. In 2018 alone, there were ten approved lung cancer treatments. Notably, 2018 also saw the first small cell lung cancer treatment approved in over ten years. To learn more about the recently approved lung cancer treatments, visit lungcancerresearchfoundation.org.
MedSource is proud to stand with Danielle, her family, and all those affected by lung cancer and other cancers to bring awareness to the causes and treatments. On World Lung Cancer Day, and every day, we will continue to help fight for improved lives for cancer patients worldwide. Join us on World Lung Cancer Day.