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Surviving Lung Cancer: Lafayette woman speaks out about early detection

Surviving Lung Cancer
Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 09:30:40-05

What started as a little pain in Jennifer Fike's back, near her shoulder blades, quickly turned into something much more serious.

"I went do a scan and she told me they found a spot on my lung, and I needed to do a biopsy, when that came back in, I was told I had cancer...lung cancer," Fike said.

A smoker for most of her life, still, while Fike knew there as a risk it was not something she ever thought she would have to deal with.

"I didn't think about it at the time," Fike said. "You just put it away and you don't think about. That's the worse day, when someone tells you have cancer. It's something you don't want to hear."

But once the word was out there, all of the immediate thoughts started to run through Fike's mind.

"How long are you going to live? When you start doing treatments you wonder if you will lose your hair, will I get sick, how sick will I be, how long....there's a lot to go through and a lot to take in," Fike said.

Fike started treatment and has been in remission since 2020.

"Lung cancer used to be, like many cancers, a death sentence," Dr. Chance Dewitt, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon with Our Lady of Lourdes, said. "I think early detection is critical. There are many things now that allow us to detect early lung cancers."

"It's starting to detect very small legions," Dewitt said. "People are getting cardiac screenings for their heart, somebody has a cough they may get a CT scan for their chest. If a patient identified with a lung nodule early, if we can remove the nodule that is cancerous, the survival rate gets up to 60, 70, 80 percent."

Dewitt speaking from experience, his father diagnosed with lung cancer 15 years ago.

"He underwent lung resection and chemotherapy and is still alive and well today."