The longest survived lung cancer patient?

Posted on December 2, 2010. Filed under: lung cancer | Tags: , , |

At Christmas-time in 1970, my Granddad stopped smoking and developed a cough.  He was subsequently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, a Pancoast tumour, involving his right lung, 1st rib, clavicle and brachial plexus.

My Granddad was treated with radio therapy (experimental at the time), at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel in May 1971 and the family were told that it would probably extend his life by just a few months. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates.  Even now, in 2010, the 5 year survival rate for lung cancer is only approximately 7%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Amazingly, my Granddad recovered and lived for 40 years after his diagnosis with no cancer recurrence. He continued to attend the hospital for a yearly appointment for some years after his treatment.  He used to say that this ended up being more for the benefit of the medical students than for himself. Sadly, following an infection, my Granddad passed away aged 94 in early November 2010.  We (his family) suspect that he is the longest-survived lung cancer patient in the UK. He was without doubt an extremely lucky man.

If it wasn’t for the pioneering treatment that my Granddad received, he would never have met most of his Grandchildren or any of his Great Grandchildren and we would never have known our honest, unassuming and kind Granddad/Great Granddad.

I very much hope that my Granddad’s story will bring hope to other cancer sufferers.

If any of you know of any longer-lived lung cancer survivors then please do get in touch.  I am annegambles on Twitter.


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