November 25, 2013 | by Valerie Zapanta
“In 2010, there were 201,144 new lung cancer diagnoses … and 158,248 deaths,” said Jae Kim, M.D., assistant professor and chief of thoracic surgery. Kim, along with Karen Reckamp, M.D., M.S., associate professor and director of the Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology Program, presented remarkable facts on lung cancer, including diagnosis, screenings, surgical advances and progress in personalized treatment at a recent Ask the Experts free community lecture.
Here are some quick highlights from the lecture:
“We are at an exciting time in lung cancer research. As we start to understand how specific changes in the tumor DNA can lead to cancer growth, we are able to develop targeted treatments to block the progression. These treatments are improving both the length and quality of life for patients,” Reckamp said.
In addition to the physicians, three City of Hope patients of Kim and Reckamp addressed the attendees, sharing stories of their journey through lung cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Most people assume that lung cancer patients are, or were, smokers, but that is not always the case, Reckamp said. No one is immune.
Patients Angela Romero and Lisa Dias had never smoked, and patient Vicky Graham quit smoking about 30 years ago.
“In the year and half that I went through finding out I had lung cancer, I had decided that I was not going to let cancer bring me down or fear it. I just figured that I was going to travel a bumpy road,” Romero said.
City of Hope is working to make that road less bumpy.