In December 2015, I was only 51 when a spot was discovered on the lower lobe of my right lung. I have never used tobacco products, was a very healthy eater and regular exerciser. The nodule was found initially on a routine x-ray. A CT scan, a PET scan, and several more follow-up CT scans over a period of 18 months showed some growth, but the reason for the growth was still inconclusive. Lung cancer seemed out of the realm of possibility due to my health history.
A biopsy was scheduled to determine if the spot was cancerous. Much to my relief, the results came back showing no signs of cancer. We would later learn that biopsies do not always rule out cancer. After treating it for several months for a possible fungus with no success, I was advised to have it removed without delay and surgery was immediately scheduled within weeks.
The firm advice to proceed with surgery most likely is the key factor in catching it before it had spread. No one could fathom that it would be cancer. A wedge resection surgery was scheduled in December 2017 to remove the unidentified growth. However, during surgery, pathology revealed cancer.
A thoracotomy was performed immediately to remove two lobes of my right lung to ensure all of the cancer was gone. The final pathology report indicated two types of cancer, Adenocarcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. This rare form takes on a name of its own, Adenosquamous Carcinoma. According to the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, this type of cancer exists in 0.4% to 4% of cases. My cancer, although very rare, had not spread to the lymph nodes and was stage 1A. My survival prognosis is very good. Unfortunately, only 16% of people will be diagnosed in the earliest stages like me, when the disease is most treatable.