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Lung Cancer Canada - Arthur Smith
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CT Scan detects Lung Cancer Early
had no symptoms of lung cancer, or any particular health concerns.
day-to-day life was focused on his
family, work, and enjoying the beautiful environs of his
native Nova Scotia.
Having overcome early stage bladder cancer 11 years before, Arthur
was mindful of the benefits of cancer screening.
So, when his
wife half-teasingly showed him an ad in his
local newspaper for an early lung cancer screening study, he
thought "Why not?
Motivated to contribute data for the benefit of others, he
never imagined that this would be a life-changing decision.
In September of 2008, at the age of 65, Arthur
applied for the early lung cancer screening study.
Despite the absence of any symptoms, he
was accepted into the study based on prolonged exposure to asbestos through his
plumbing profession, and a history of smoking.
had a CT scan (an imaging technique that shows the insides of the lungs) two months later, in November.
To Arthur's surprise, the CT scan showed a spot on his
was contacted for follow-up, and came under the care of Dr. Michael Johnston, a Thoracic Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax.
A second follow-up CT scan in February of 2009 showed that the tumour had grown from 3 to 15 millimetres.
Despite the rapid growth, the tumour was localized and he
was an ideal candidate for surgery.
underwent surgery in March of 2009, and the tumour was successfully removed.
Almost a year later, Arthur
is still on the path of recovery from the surgery.
Although feeling well, his
energy is not what it used to be, and he
is still regaining his
capacity to work.
Despite these challenges, Arthur's outlook is wonderfully optimistic.
Having survived two early stage cancers, Arthur feels that "someone is looking out for me".
credits Shirley, his
wife of 43 years, and his
family for "85% of his
worries more about other members of his
community than he
is using his
experience, and sense of tremendous good fortune, to advance awareness of cancer, and cancer screening, in his
story was featured in his
local newspaper, and on his
local TV news, which resulted in a surge of new participants in the same early lung cancer screening study.
willingly allows his
case to be reviewed by medical students, and offers support and encouragement to others who are dealing with cancer, be they neighbours or other patients whom he
meets at the hospital.
In spite of two cancer diagnoses, and a myriad of tests and follow-ups over the years, Arthur
has only the highest regard for those in the health care system.
For now, Arthur
is doing his
part by contributing his
data to the early screening study, sharing his
story, and helping others he
meets along the way.