Jane's Story

"When it comes to lung cancer, we shouldn’t just think ‘in the box’. We should think out of it too."

As an avid runner, Jane is not what many perceive to be a 'typical' lung cancer patient. She joined the Face Your Fear campaign to show that anyone can get lung cancer.

"I guess as a lady, you're more aware of breast cancer and there's a lot of publicity about breast cancer so that would have been more what I would have been on the lookout for than lung cancer.

But lung cancer, it can affect anyone and since I've been diagnosed with it, I've met a lot of young women who have lung cancer. They may have smoked, they may not have smoked - it's irrelevant. The bottom line is it's young women and that's quite out of the normal thinking for people.

I was diagnosed back in May 2014. They thought they had caught it early but a PET scan then revealed it had spread to my neck. So suddenly it went from stage 1 to advanced lung cancer. Stage 3b. Inoperable. Terminal. Incurable.

I had chemo but that didn't do much so I then had radical radiotherapy. This cut out the activity in my neck so there was only activity showing in the main tumour which then made it operable again. I had a lobectomy in 2015 in the summer."

But it didn't end there. In October 2017, a node 'lit up' in Jane's neck again. The cancer was back...

"I had a complete neck dissection in December 2017 just before Christmas. That was then followed by another six weeks of radiotherapy. But I've clear scans since then and I'm back running.

If you've got a cough, if you've got a pain in your shoulder, if you've got something that just doesn't feel right and you're worried, go to your GP. And if you're not happy from the response of the GP, go and see another GP or keep going back.I wasn't a 'typical' patient but it was caught.

Avoid the horror stories. Avoid the statistics because the statistics are changing and treatments are changing.

But my main piece of advice is don't get too far ahead of yourself because I've been inoperable and I've since had surgery.

Stay positive because, the way I look at it, if there's one in 10,000 chance, then you can be that one."

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