It is almost sure that all of us at one point or another have been personally affected by or know somebody who’s been affected by cancer. I know cancer has affected my family as well as my husband’s family. This is why I am grateful to be able to partner with City of Hope Orange County to bring you the story of a strong and inspiring woman who has battled more than one type of cancer.
In 1998, Dori Neuman was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma. She knew she had to learn more about skin cancer. She questioned her doctors at City of Hope and spent hours researching and learning treatment options. Through her journey, she found out that there were no skin cancer support groups near her and information was hard to find. She was introduced to Shirley Otis Green, a social worker at City of Hope OC, who trained her and together started the very first skin cancer support group at City of Hope in 1999.
The next step in her cancer journey started in 2005, when Dr. Grannis entered her into a lung cancer screening research project. As a former smoker who had stopped smoking for 20 years before 2005, she was a perfect candidate for this study. Since lung cancer is the slowest growing of all the cancers and there are no symptoms until it is in an advanced stage, this study proved that CT scans were better than X-Rays for early detection. Reading that lung cancer is the slowest growing of all the cancers and that there are no symptoms blew my mind considering all the advancements in medical technology!
In December 2005, she started the research program with a CT scan every year. For 10 years nothing came up on any of the scans until December 2015. This was now 30 years after she had stopped smoking and the first small tumor appeared. It was too small to biopsy, so they did another CT scan six months later in June of 2016. The tumor got bigger and in July 2016, she had the right upper lobe of her right lung removed. The best news that Dori received was that the cancer was Stage 1A Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and no treatment was needed. She continued with regular CT scans to monitor her for any future tumors. Dori was thankful that no one gave up on her and everyone on her doctors’ team was determined to ensure her health and wellbeing.
This truly shows that City of Hope OC’s singular focus on cancer and its commitment to science and research benefited Dori by having the best trained doctors with world-class cancer training. The research that takes place at City of Hope OC is the best in the country. The lung cancer screening program is now regularly offered and hopefully more people will take advantage of this resource. Dori stated that the screening program saved her life, she is sure it will save so many other lives. City of Hope’s motto is “The Power of Knowledge Saves Lives”!
Dori had a couple messages for people facing cancer that she wanted to share, she hopes that people could learn from her story, they are:
- Although everyone’s diagnosis of cancer may be different, it is how we deal with the diagnosis that makes a big difference
- From the first day we are diagnosed with cancer, we are survivors.
- We should share our knowledge with others. With so much cancer research going on globally, one person may be able to help find a cure, so never give up.
- It is okay to not want to express your feelings to others. You can choose to express your feelings by keeping a journal of your feelings and experiences. Journaling has helped so many patients along their cancer journey.
I was moved by Dori’s story and her journey of survival. As I mentioned, cancer has affected both my family and my husband’s family. We both know how important early screening is and how it can make a difference to save your life or someone you love. If you or someone you know requires assistance for lung cancer or any other kind of cancer, please follow this link to connect with City Of Hope Orange County.
City of Hope has an important message to share during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Click here to read more. Please visit CityofHope.org/orange-county/lung to learn more about City of Hope’s lifesaving lung cancer screening program and our world-renowned lung experts