FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lung cancer is the number-one cause of cancer related deaths in America. Four-hundred and fifty people die each day from this disease. Startling numbers, but doctors say we can still win the cancer battle if we start early and with intervention. One woman won the fight and it only cost her 49-dollars.
SubmitDeborah Kerns has always loved a bargain especially when her mother found her the deal of a lifetime! A newspaper ad listing a lung CT screening for just 49 bucks.
Carol Swaynie, Deborah's Mother told Ivanhoe, "The last line said, by the time we get through with you you'll know everything you want to about your lungs."
Deborah smoked for 44-years and developed a nasty cough. "It hurt when I would cough" she explained.
Her mom left the paper out with 50-dollars and crossed her fingers. Kerns said, "I thought fine. I'll make the call so she'll quit harping me."
Deborah went and what she found out was shocking. "I'm one of those people, it's not going to happen to me, they're not going to find anything" Kerns said.
DuyKhanh P. Ceppa, MD, Thoracic Surgeon of Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center told Ivanhoe, Submit"There were two areas both in the same left lobe that were concerning."
The lung CT scan revealed two suspicious spots on Deborah's left lung.
"I recommended that she have surgery in order to have these taken out and it turned out she indeed did have lung cancer" Dr. Ceppa explained.
Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center is one of several medical institutions in the country to offer low or no cost lung CT screenings to patients. The goal is to find cancer before it's too late.
"Decreasing the risk of lung disease, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and decreasing the risk of developing other cancers" Dr. Ceppa told Ivanhoe.
Each year 165-thousand smokers die. Today, Deborah is cancer free thanks to a small ad, her doctors and her mother's persistence.
"Oh, the best 50-dollars that I ever spent" Swaynie said.
Although Deborah is cancer free, she still struggles with nicotine addiction. Doctors will keep track of her progress in case the cancer comes back.
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BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America and is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined. Lung cancer is caused by an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in either one or both lungs. With each new mutation of an abnormal cell, the lung tissue becomes more and more mutated. These abnormal cells can grow into tumors that can inhibit the lung from carrying out its primary function, which is to provide oxygen to the body. Primary lung cancer begins in the lungs but many times, these cancerous cells can travel to other parts of the body, spreading the cancer elsewhere. Lung cancer can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the factors may include tobacco use, exposure to radon gas and breathing in asbestos fibers.
SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER: Signs and symptoms that you may have lung cancer can take years to fully develop and may not appear until the disease is advanced. It is important to seek a physician if there are any unusual feelings developing. Symptoms may include:
Pain in the chest, shoulder or back pain.
A change in color or volume of sputum.
Shortness of breath.
Changes in the voice or being hoarse.
Recurrent lung problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
Coughing of phlegm or mucus, or blood.
If the lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body you may feel symptoms elsewhere. The lymph nodes, bones, brain, liver and adrenal glands are common places for lung cancer to spread.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: A $49 lung CT scan is now being provided to help detect lung cancer before it is too late. The hope of this screening is to reduce the number of lung cancer deaths by 90-percent. This is a cost effective and beneficial way to catch lung cancer early on. In order to qualify for the $49 lung scan you must be between the ages of 55 and 80 years old, have a pack year smoking history higher than 30, currently smoke or have smoked within the past 15 years and have not had a recent chest CT scan within the past 18 months. This low-dose CT screening may be able to reveal the state of a patient's lung health increasing the likelihood of survival.
(Source: iuhealth.org null
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