Outfoxing Lung Cancer

WL_LungCancer5With a newly recommended screening, cancer’s top killer may have met its match

Call it kismet, call it luck—call it being in the right place at the right time. Two years ago, Robert Linscott just happened to see a flyer about a lung cancer early-screening clinical trial at White Plains Hospital, where he punches his card as an operating room custodian. A former smoker for 40 years who’d been exposed to asbestos in the Navy, Linscott, then 60, fell squarely into the high-risk group eligible for the trial; as a participant, he would receive a free low-dose CT scan of his chest annually. Little did he know that his first scan, in May 2013, would save his life. “I was totally asymptomatic,” says Linscott. “I had no clue that I had cancer.” Yet there it was—a walnut-size tumor in his right lung, confirmed by a follow-up PET scan that lit up the tumor like a fluorescent bulb in the center of his torso. The next step: minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), which allowed Cynthia Chin, MD—the lead thoracic surgeon on the study—to remove the tumor through three one-centimeter incisions in his chest. The cancer gone, he was back to work in eight weeks. Says Linscott, who neatly side-stepped a very different fate, “If I had waited a year, it could have been much, much worse.” Read full article