Cancer Screening Saved My Life!

This year, approximately 600,000 people were expected to die from cancer in America. But, we can change these numbers, and one way is with early screening and detection. The Doctors meet Sally, who says early detection made a difference in her life.

"I felt I was at high risk for lung cancer because I had smoked for 30 years and I have a family history of lung cancer. My mother, my uncle who was my mother’s brother and my paternal grandfather all died as a result of lung cancer. I quit smoking in 1990, but I knew I still had to be proactive about my health. So in 2004, I enrolled in a lung cancer study for early detection. Five years later, tests revealed that I had stage 1A lung cancer. I ended up having the lower lobe of my right lung removed and I believe that I’m still alive today because my lung cancer was found at a very an early stage," she shares. Sally is happy to share with The Doctors that she has been cancer-free for 8 and half years.

Dr. Edith Perez, head of U.S. BioOncology Medical Affairs at Genentech tells us, "For most types of cancer, survival rates can be significantly improved at the 5-year number or beyond if the cancers are found early. And this is because if we find the tumors before they have spread to other parts of the body, which we call metastasis, treatments are much easier."

Dr. Perez shares what people need to know about recommended early cancer screenings.

  • "Don’t be afraid," she says encouraging people to talk to their doctor about which screenings may be right for you.
  • She says awareness and education are important and urges you to be the best advocate for your health and the health of your loved ones.

Dr. Travis Stork says, "This is especially true if you are at higher risk. Many times symptoms of cancer do not appear until the disease is already at an advanced stage." Dr. Nita Landry adds, "Early detection is important for other forms of cancer as well. For example, the Pap test can help catch cervical cancer early. But unfortunately, less than half of all cervical cancer cases are diagnosed at the early stages, when the five-year survival rate is 91 percent."

Dr. Perez announced that Cancer Screen Week will take place December 4 through December 8, and she says that Genentech is excited to be a part of this initiative along with the American Cancer Society, Stand Up to Cancer and Rally Health.

Dr. Arun Singh, a Stand up to Cancer researcher and UCLA doctor, also joins the panel to share how people can get involved. "Go to getscreenednow.org and take a quick survey to find out which cancer screening tests may be right for you. Take the pledge and make an appointment to speak with your physician about cancer screening recommendations which can have potentially life-saving benefits," he tells The Doctors.

Sponsored by Genentech