WILTON MANORS, Florida. – Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in men and women in the United States, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all cancer deaths.
When a lot of people think of lung cancer, they think of smoking.
Matt Little too, until the non-smoker was diagnosed with the disease last summer.
“On July 3rd I had a severe stroke and ended up in the hospital and they said it was because of high blood pressure and while I was in the hospital s ‘There’s a silver lining so that’s it, they did all the CT scans and found I had cancer in my lungs, ”Little said.
It was actually melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that started somewhere unnoticed in her body and migrated to her lungs.
“We’ve obviously done a really good job of discouraging smoking and demonizing it in some way, but the lungs are organs just like the brain, kidneys, and colon, so the lungs can get cancer even without smoking to a degree. surprising, ”said Dr. Dennis Tishko, a thoracic surgeon with Broward Health.
Little’s treatment began with surgery to remove the cancer.
“We saw an isolated spot in a very good position and we know that if that spot comes out completely its survival is improved,” said Tishko.
New treatment options are also improving survival rates.
“Patients are now living with advanced disease as a chronic disease. Lung cancer at one time was a death sentence, now it’s managed the same way we manage diabetes or high blood pressure with some of these really fantastic drugs, ”Tishko said.
In this season of thanksgiving, Little has put pen to paper to thank everyone who has been a part of her treatment and recovery.
“I have so much to be thankful for, my faith, my family all the prayers and the healthcare providers who have been just wonderful,” he said.
Overall, the risk that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 15; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17.
These figures include both people who smoke and those who do not, although smoking definitely increases the risk.
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