Saturday, 15 November 2014

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

 White Ribbons for Lung Cancer!
This is my month, lung cancer awareness! I haven't been blogging, I have been really busy, good busy! But, I cannot let the month go without posting something to help advocate for patients and raise some sort of awareness in my little way through my little blog.
I have never smoked in my life and I got lung cancer, go figure. The few months after diagnosis, an advocacy group interviewed me while on chemo, and asked what message I would like to relay to the public and the medical community about lung cancer. I told them that  when I first came to see a doctor about breathlessness, it was dismissed as possibly being out of shape, and was asked to exercise more, make changes in my diet, 3 years later, it's late stage lung cancer! Should we have looked then? I knew myself, maybe my diet goes adrift from time to time, but it was always in moderation. I walked everyday for at least an hour and I'm always on my feet at home, the lack of activity did not fit at all. But, I still trusted the doctor's expertise, or maybe I shouldn't have and insisted on further tests. If your current care provider won't fund your tests, it's worth getting a private one done, for your piece of mind. May I also suggest, regular full profile blood tests, this will show you where you're at, what minerals you are deficient in, your cholesterol, sugar levels, etc. We got the whole family tested, then went to a herbalist and now we're not guessing which supplements to take as the concoction is custom made based on the blood tests and what we're feeling. So my message was that doctors should realize that lung cancer does affect non smokers, something I'm sure they all know, and patients that come to them with symptoms should be checked just as much as smokers. After all, smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer. There's radon, environmental pollution, chemicals right in your own home, soap, shampoo, etc.
To everyone, be proactive in following up symptoms you may feel, you don't have to be paranoid, but trust your gut feeling, because you do feel it when something's not right. I felt it, but dismissed it and took the doctor's advice as gospel. My symptoms were breathlessness on effort which I started to feel as early as three years ago, I thought this was all a part of aging initially. The breathlessness became progressively worse leading up to the diagnosis, then the cough that won't go away for 2 months eventually urged me to insist on further testing. Time is something cancer patients would be blessed to have, so finding out as early as possible provide for a better scenario as it gives you a better chance at designing a healing protocol after all the research you'll have to do!
Here's an article from Dr. Andrew Weil on Lung Cancer and its symptoms
10 Signs of Lung Cancer - Dr. Weil's Daily Tip


  1. Hi Caroline. If we want to get at quick look at the lungs. Would a chest X-ray show any lung cancer?

  2. Hi Dorothy,
    Yes that is the first thing they did, if they find something, they get you a CT scan. Early stage lung cancer does not clearly show on X-rays that's why most patients get diagnosed at late stage. However, full profile blood tests will tell you if there's something amiss. And don't dismiss symptoms like breathlessness and prolonged coughing. Take Care xx