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  • Terri Ann DiJulio

What's in a number...

Let’s take the number 59 for example. Yes, that happens to be my age, but it also happens to be the number of times my chest has been scanned for lung cancer in the past 17 years. Someone recently asked me if I knew how many scans I’ve had since my first nodule was discovered when I was 42 years old. I didn’t know the answer and with my most recent scan this week, I was curious so I sat down and counted.

59 lung cancer scans...wow - that number surprised me! Those of us who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, fondly refer to the emotion we feel during the time period between the scan and the results as “Scanxiety.” I have had the luxury of dealing with scanxiety for 17 years now and have learned this hard lesson: let go of the outcome. Easier said than done…especially for those in my beloved lung cancer community who are in the fight. I am currently in the aftermath of that fight and although I’ve been blindsided before, I choose to not waste the precious time between now and then, worrying about something I have no control over.

But, what I can control is how I look at the situation and what I choose to do with my time instead worrying. Today I choose to take that time to educate you on lung cancer screening, so please indulge me and read these important facts.

  • Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t need to be.

  • A CT scan of your chest takes about 10 minutes, doesn’t hurt and can save your life. Watch this video to learn more.

  • Early detection is key – the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer dramatically drops from a stage 1 diagnosis (68-92% survival) to a stage 4 diagnosis (0-10% survival). Only 16% of the eligible population will be diagnosed at an early stage.

  • For individuals who meet high-risk criteria, screening is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.

  • Want to find out of you are eligible for screening? Click here to learn more.

Patients with lung cancer are at high-risk if coronavirus enters their system, so continuing to fundraise for increased research and enhanced services is imperative. It remains vitally important to save, extend, and improve the lives of those with lung cancer.

I earnestly ask that you contribute to my 60 for Sixty campaign and help make a difference for the lung cancer community. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. The life you save may be your own.

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