Breaking News
April 22, 2019 - Hyaline fibromatosis syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Scientists use CRISPR for possible ‘bubble boy’ therapy
April 22, 2019 - Hematologist (and a mom, singer, actress and much more) stands up for diversity
April 22, 2019 - Novel AI voice tool can help diagnose PTSD
April 22, 2019 - Overlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemia
April 22, 2019 - MIT scientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of rare neurodevelopmental disorder
April 22, 2019 - Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure
April 22, 2019 - Opioid dose variability could lead to increased risk of overdose, study suggests
April 22, 2019 - Newly developed model predicts salmonella outbreaks several months in advance
April 22, 2019 - Deep-learning model better predicts survival outcomes for lung cancer
April 22, 2019 - One in Three U.S. Adults Aged 35 to 44 May Have Drinking Problem
April 22, 2019 - Why the measles virus is so contagious
April 22, 2019 - Magnet ‘Zap’ to the Brain Might Jumpstart Aging Memory
April 22, 2019 - Immune response to gut microbes may be early indicator of type 1 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Destination Limbo: Health Suffers Among Asylum Seekers In Crowded Border Shelter
April 22, 2019 - Research shows how dopamine contributes to sex differences in worms
April 22, 2019 - Marijuana users weigh less compared to non-users
April 22, 2019 - Research uncovers critical RNA processing aberrations in ALS and FTD
April 22, 2019 - Many cancer patients use marijuana and prescription opioids, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Frailty may up fracture risk in patients with type 2 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can affect cognition
April 22, 2019 - Study seeks to better understand the genetic causes for hypospadias
April 22, 2019 - FDA grants approval of first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose
April 22, 2019 - FDA authorizes marketing of first medical device to treat ADHD
April 22, 2019 - Vanderbilt researchers to develop and test ‘safe harbor’ standards of care
April 22, 2019 - You’re probably brushing your teeth wrong – here are four tips for better dental health
April 22, 2019 - Pharmacy closures contribute to medication non-adherence among heart patients
April 22, 2019 - Using Edge AI technology to observe behavior of cattle
April 22, 2019 - Bacteria play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in pigs
April 22, 2019 - Hand Hygiene Compliance Poor in Task Transitions
April 22, 2019 - smoking could harm your baby
April 22, 2019 - Scientists identify rare, paradoxical response to antiretroviral therapy
April 21, 2019 - More TV, Tablets, More Attention Issues at Age 5
April 21, 2019 - Drug reduces risk of kidney failure in people with diabetes, study finds
April 21, 2019 - New research identifies novel link between antibiotic resistance and climate change
April 21, 2019 - Simple intervention can provide lasting protection for teens against junk food marketing
April 21, 2019 - The protein p38-gamma identified as a new therapeutic target in liver cancer
April 21, 2019 - Novel system enables researchers to study bacteria within mini-tissues in a dish
April 21, 2019 - Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives
April 21, 2019 - Geneva Exhibition committee gives gold medals to two medications developed by Kazan
April 21, 2019 - Scientists aim to minimize or eliminate hair loss during cancer treatment
April 21, 2019 - WiFi interacts with signaling pathways in the human brain
April 21, 2019 - Stroke Hospitalizations Down in Black, White Medicare Enrollees
April 21, 2019 - First common risk genes discovered for autism
April 21, 2019 - Researchers map auditory sensory system of the mouse brain
April 21, 2019 - Scientists Bring Pig’s Brain, Dead 4 Hours, Back to ‘Cellular Activity’
April 21, 2019 - Virtual reality a promising tool for reducing fears and phobia in autism
April 21, 2019 - New analysis lists out opportunities for U.S. medical schools to advance population health
April 21, 2019 - More sleep may help teens with ADHD focus and organize
April 21, 2019 - Breakthrough antibody treatment suppresses HIV without antivirals
April 21, 2019 - AveXis Data Reinforce Effectiveness of Zolgensma in Treating Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1
April 21, 2019 - Is your hand pain arthritis, carpal tunnel or something else?
April 21, 2019 - Measles outbreaks may become more frequent if vaccination rates continue to decline
April 21, 2019 - Researchers succeed in accelerating process of creating 3D images
April 21, 2019 - Tiny worm mimics key genetic risk for Alzheimer’s
April 21, 2019 - Angry dreams explained by brain waves
April 20, 2019 - Parenteral Antimicrobial Tx at Home Burdens Children’s Caregivers
April 20, 2019 - Diabetes treatment may keep dementia, Alzheimer’s at bay
April 20, 2019 - New bandage-like biosensor collects and analyzes sweat
April 20, 2019 - A comprehensive, centralized database of bovine milk compounds
April 20, 2019 - Two new epigenetic regulators maintain self-renewal of embryonic stem cells
April 20, 2019 - New Evidence That Veggies Beat Steak for Heart Health
April 20, 2019 - Study reveals genes associated with heavy drinking and alcoholism
April 20, 2019 - Texas A&M AgriLife becomes the newest member of NutriRECS international consortium
April 20, 2019 - In most states, insurance won’t cover addiction treatments
April 20, 2019 - Computer-based memory games may be beneficial for individuals with fragile X syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Timing of food intake influences molecular clock in the liver of mice
April 20, 2019 - Precise decoding of breast cancer cells paves way for new treatment option
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use 3D imaging to help model complex processes performed by placenta
April 20, 2019 - MediciNova Announces Plans to Move Forward with a Phase 3 Trial of MN-166 (ibudilast) in ALS
April 20, 2019 - Genetic variants that protect against obesity could aid new weight loss medicines
April 20, 2019 - New technology developed for microscopic imaging in living organisms
April 20, 2019 - when quitting cigarettes, consider using more nicotine, not less
April 20, 2019 - Key proteins can block Listeria without triggering the death of host cells
April 20, 2019 - Researchers create a working model of cerebral tract to study brain function
April 20, 2019 - New study shows that microbes can help break toxic chemical in dust
April 20, 2019 - Scientists use NIR light and injected DNA nanodevice to guide stem cells to injury
April 20, 2019 - Microbial Features ID’d for Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome
April 20, 2019 - Study reveals patterns of drug intoxication deaths, organ donors across the US
April 20, 2019 - Scientists deploy CRISPR gene-editing tool to engineer multiple edits
Lung cancer survivor recounts her lifetime struggles

Lung cancer survivor recounts her lifetime struggles

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

By any measure, lung cancer patients have it rough.

But Maryland resident and special education teacher Montessa Lee has been through a particularly arduous ordeal. In September 2006, she experienced pain in her rib cage and sought medical care. Told she had inflammation, she was given medicine for her pain. But the pain returned. At her next visit, she was diagnosed with bronchitis and given an antibiotic. But by Thanksgiving, the pain returned. This time, she went to the ER and an x-ray revealed a 15-centimeter tumor in her lung.

How this cantaloupe-sized mass eluded previous doctors and why a chest x-ray was not ordered remains a mystery to Montessa. She was left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life when she was informed she had small cell lung cancer and that the prognosis was dismal.

In 2006, there were few effective therapies offered for patients with small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 15 percent of all lung cancer cases and the tumors tend to be more aggressive and metastasize quickly. Even today, the five-year survival rate for patients with localized tumors is 29 percent but drops to 3 percent for tumors that are diagnosed later, after cancer has spread.

“I was angry with the fact that there was a lack of funding for lung cancer and at that time, the prognosis, treatment options, and survival rates had not changed over the course of several years,” she said.

Montessa soon learned that her case was more complex than normal. The larger tumor was dangerously close to her pulmonary artery, making surgery a risky proposition. Like many small cell lung cancer patients, ultimately surgery was ruled out because there could be no guarantee her cancer was limited to just one tumor.

As a spiritual person, Montessa did not accept her medical fate without a fight.

“I’ve always considered myself a supporter of underdogs, which is why I enjoy teaching children with special needs,” she said. So, she took up the challenge of her own medical condition and found an oncologist to treat her. At the same time, she poured herself into education of small cell lung cancer, reading journal articles and research and joining advocacy efforts.

“I was angry about the diagnosis and had ordered boxes of research on lung cancer and signed up with several advocacy groups,” she said. “I wrote my congressman to encourage more research dollars be directed to small cell lung cancer and I became a patient representative for the Food and Drug Administration.”

At the same time, she began treatment for her lung cancer–a grueling eight cycles of chemotherapy and three weeks of radiation. Fortunately, her tumor responded to the combination therapy and the tumor shrunk dramatically.

After her treatment concluded, Montessa transitioned to a more vocal participant in lung cancer advocacy, making appearances, talking to patient groups and taking up writing.

Montessa has passed her five-year survival mark and chronicled her lung cancer treatment journey in a book “He Whispered Life,” published in 2015. Though technically cancer-free, her post-treatment life is still full of doctor’s appointments and risk tolerance.

“I discovered that even though I beat cancer, the side effects of the treatment linger on,” she said. For instance, cancer patients who undergo radiation are at higher risk for breast cancer as well as neuropathy. She frequently experiences shortness of breath.

While Montessa’s message resonates with all cancer patients, at the IASLC Small Cell Lung Cancer Meeting, she will be addressing doctors and researchers. Her message?

“Don’t forget about us (small cell lung cancer patients) and ‘you can focus on small cell lung cancer,'” she said. “We do matter.”

Montessa will tell her story to the attendees at the IASLC Small Cell Lung Cancer Meeting on Wednesday, April 3rd in New York City.

Source:

https://www.iaslc.org/news/lung-cancer-patient-channels-diagnosis-lifetime-activism

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles