Please, even if you've smoked for a long time, try and quit get those black lungs back to a healthy pink. I've been told by a doctor that it happens in about 2 weeks. The bad cigarette smell goes away, and the cough clears up in a few weeks too. Look what you have to look forward to! A whole new life opens up. It's amazing.
I was a rare case, being that I was only 45 when diagnosed. The type of lung cancer that smokers get is slow growing so you can have it for YEARS before you know it. Mine had been growing about 2-4 years per my doctor. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't get to the doctor soon after I noticed it. I wanted to give it time to go away, and in doing so, I gave it time to grow and slowly start killing me. Even if you don't have any symptoms, you can have lung cancer. Insurance companies are finally waking up and allowing CT scans for suspected LC, as CT's do much better at finding LC than x-rays. Remember in my previous blog I said the x-ray only showed a thickening somewhere. You could not SEE ANY TUMORS. I HAD 4 TUMORS PEOPLE! NONE OF THEM SHOWED UP ON THE X-RAY. Sorry. I wanted to emphasize that.
So, if you are a long-time smoker, go and get checked out. Chances are you are fine. However, if LC is found, there are many more treatment options available, including clinical trials that can save lives as well. These days, they have pin-point radiation and many chemotherapy choices, as well as gamma-knife, Tarceva, etc., etc. I know of two people who had late stage LC and have survived over 5 years taking Tarceva (a pill), rendering their cancer dormant and they are still going strong. So, there is hope folks. Please don't think it's a lost cause, because it's not. There are Stage 4's out there who have survived. I wish I had quit sooner. I smoked my last cigarette the day I was admitted to the hospital for my first chemo. I haven't smoked since. And I NEVER will again. Ok, I'm cancered out. More later.