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Lung Cancer: Not Just A Smoker's Disease

Lung Cancer: Not Just A Smoker's Disease

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By: Jenn Hatcher

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month.  It's an effort to raise awareness for a disease with one big misconception, that it only affects smokers.

In 2012 Laura Redoutey had a cough, that wouldn't go away, the diagnoses, not something she expected.  Redoutey says, "If you ever have something that's out of the ordinarily and certainly if it lasts for a couple of weeks, have it checked out."

After a trip to the doctor and a referral to a pulmonologist, a cat scan revealed, Redoutey had lung cancer.  "I haven't smoked in 40 years plus so I had no thought that it was cancer, I thought maybe it was bronchitis or something else," says Redoutey.

Doctor Richard Thompson says about 20 percent of lung cancers victims are not smokers.

Thompson explains, “There's a number of other risk factors, the biggest of which is actually radon exposure."

Reudouty underwent surgery, removing a portion of her left lung.  She's now cancer free, saying, "I haven't had to have any further follow up care so I've been very lucky."

The two continue to raise awareness on the disease with a smoker stigma.  Thompson says, "Lung cancer is the red headed step child of cancers and unfortunately tend to ignore it, it is the single biggest killer of patients in the cancer world and it's important that we pay attention to it and we stand up to it."

Not only is a persistent cough a possible sign of trouble, so is coughing up blood.  Through the month of November, Bryan Health, is offering discounted cancer CT screenings to high risk patients.  Also, on November 14th, the annual Shine a Light on lung cancer event will be held at Bryan East.

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