From an article in McLeod Magazine by Tracy Stanton with
Dr. Lisa Heichberger, McLeod Primary Care Clarendon
McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Wayne Holley
“The only symptom I had was a strange little cough every once in a while.” – Renee Banister
A smoker for 27 years, Renee Bannister, a jewelry sales associate in Sumter, says she always assumed at some point a physician would say to her “you have emphysema,” even though she had quit smoking more than 15 years ago.
During a visit with McLeod Primary Care Clarendon Physician Dr. Lisa Heichberger, Renee discussed her smoking history and that strange little cough she had. The doctor recommended Renee undergo a low-dose lung CT screening.
Since 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended screening for lung cancer using a low-dose CT scan in patients who meet the following criteria: ages 55 to 80; cumulative smoking history of 30-pack years or more; who still smokes or who has this history but stopped smoking in the last 15 years; and who currently does not exhibit any symptoms of lung cancer.
The scan confirmed that Renee had early-stage lung cancer. Dr. Heichberger immediately arranged for Renee to see McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Wayne Holley.
“If we identify lung cancer early enough to completely remove the tumor, we have several treatment options available, depending on the patient’s other medical conditions, general endurance, stamina and — most importantly — whether the cancer has spread,” explained Dr. Holley. “As with most cancers, early detection remains the key to survival. Spotting the cancer early often allows us to remove the smallest amount of lung tissue possible. This may involve only part of a lung.”
Dr. Holley explained that most people come in with advanced Stage IV, whereas Renee’s cancer was Stage I. He recommended removing the top third of Renee’s lung and did not feel she would need radiation or chemotherapy.
Dr. Holley performed a robotic-assisted surgery – a better option than traditional lung cancer surgery, which involves separating the ribs and large incisions.
“Dr. Holley told me that I would have a few small incisions,” says Renee. “I don’t even have a scar.”
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
For more information on the McLeod Lung Cancer Screening Program, call 843-777-5953.
To read the entire article, click here.