A CANCER patient is calling for better screening so the disease can be detected earlier in others.
Great-grandmother La Verne Noble, 57, of Downey Close, St Leonards, had her left lung removed in November at Guy’s Hospital in London after a cancerous growth was found.
She first fell ill in February last year with a bad cough but instinctively knew it was something more serious.
Mrs Noble said: “My doctor put it down to the fact that I suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and put me off for six months. I got worse and went for an X-ray in July which came back negative for cancer.
“I was told I was overweight and smoked too much. I did smoke 30 a day for more than 40 years so I understand I have abused my lungs.”
Convinced she had lung cancer, Mrs Noble pushed for another check-up.
She had a biopsy but that gave her the all clear.
Mrs Noble added: “I had this grinding voice inside me telling me there was something seriously wrong so I pushed to have a PET scan in Brighton. That revealed a 19mm lump inside my left lung. I was referred to Guy’s where doctors told me I had a choice of leaving it for three months to see if the lump was cancer or having an operation.”
The carer decided on the latter and has not looked back since.
She said: “I just knew I had cancer. If I’d just gone along with the X-ray results I would not be here today. The system is so wrong. I had to push and push until doctors found it (cancer). I have heard people returning 12 months later after having an X-ray dying of cancer. There needs to be better scanning of patients so cancer can be caught much earlier.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Sussex said: “Lung cancer can be extremely difficult to diagnose and the symptoms overlap with many other common conditions, or there may even be no symptoms at all. “If caught early this disease can be beaten. Awareness of possible symptoms and early diagnosis is the best way to successful treatment, so to promote this the NHS last year launched the 3-week cough campaign (www.3weekcough.org). The key message is that if you have had a new or different cough lasting for more than three weeks, then you should get yourself to your GP for a check-up.”