Super Patient: Craig Blower Fights Lung Cancer with Knowledge—and Humor

Update:  We are deeply saddened to report that Craig passed away on March 16, 2016. It is a privilege to continue to share his story and keep his memory alive.

In 2010, Craig Blower had such a bad case of bronchitis that his doctor put him on steroids. Craig’s airways cleared up in a month or two, and he didn’t give it any more thought. Then, in late 2012, his throat began whistling slightly when he woke up. But Craig, who was 59 years old at the time, thought it was just part of getting older. “I basically ignored it,” he recalls. Continue reading…

Super Patient: Genetic Testing Gives Lisa Goldman a Targeted Treatment for Lung Cancer

In October 2013, Lisa Goldman had a dry cough that wouldn’t go away. “It was bad enough that I went to the doctor, which I don’t do very often,” she says. He ordered a chest radiograph, said her lungs were clear, prescribed codeine cough syrup, and sent her home.

But she kept coughing, so she kept coming back. On her second visit, her doctor said her airways were irritated and prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics. By her third visit, she’d begun to cough up a bit of blood, but her doctor just repeated that her airways were irritated and prescribed steroids. Continue reading…

Having That Persistent Cough Checked Out Early Can Save Lives

A public health campaign, encouraging people throughout England to go to the doctor early if they have symptoms that could indicate lung cancer, has yielded strong results. The Be Clear On Cancer campaign urged people with a cough lasting more than 3 weeks to see a doctor. In the months during which the campaign ran, 700 more people were diagnosed with lung cancer than in the same months of the previous year–an increase of 10%. Four hundred more people than usual were diagnosed in the early stages of lung cancer, when the disease is most treatable, and 300 more received lung cancer surgery. While most cases of a persistent cough are not due to lung cancer, campaign organizers stress that it is better to be safe.