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On November 16th, I experienced severe pain in my left upper abdomen.  So severe that I thought I was having a heart attach. My wife took me to the emergency room.  I had a CT scan and was told I had a small kidney stone.  I was relieved it wasn't a heart attack. The ER doctor also told me I had a nodule on my lung. Today I saw a pulmonary specialist.  He showed me a 5cm x 2.5cm on my right lower lobe.  Preliminary diagnosis without a biopsy is primary lung malignancy.  He is scheduling a biopsy ASAP.  I have absolutely no symptoms and am freaking out. Never smoked cigarettes.  Can anybody give me any advice or thoughts.

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Hi Charles,

It’s nice to meet you and I’m glad you found us. I’m sorry you find yourself in this situation. At the time of my diagnosis last year, we were floored to find I had lung cancer.  In fact almost 60% of newly diagnosed lung cancers are people who have never smoked. Who knew?  It’s not well known in the PCP community. In most instances like yours, there are often no symptoms.  We’ve had a number of members who learned about their lung cancer in the emergency department following a scan for something else.  

Of course you are freaking out, I did too. We all do.  Fortunately there have been more advances in lung cancer treatment in the 5 years than in the last fifty.  There’s a long diagnostic process that involves the biopsy, biomarker testing, brain MRI and PET Scan before a precision treatment plan can be implemented. This can take a few weeks.  Most people who were not smokers have something called a biomarker.  The biomarker is a gene mutation that caused the cancer. It’s not generally hereditary.  It’s a freak accident.  

During this time it’s important to stay off of Google.  Dr Google is not our friend as the lung cancer science is moving so fast generally anything more than 6-12 months is already too old.  Ask us anything you want. In this forum you’ll find the most supportive inspiring people.  

We’ll be here every step of the way. 

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Thanks Michelle...I'll continue to report my situation.  Hopefully I can enjoy a long life.  Coincidentally, today I officially retied.  And then I get this news. 

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Wow. Not exactly the news anyone expects to learn about on their retirement date.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet many long term survivors.  While I was 51 upon diagnosis, I consider myself “retired” doing the things I had planned to do like volunteering & traveling.  While I have some side effects from my therapy (pills), they are all pretty manageable.  

There’s a lot of very good information on the Lungevity site as well as the GO2FOUNDATION in San Francisco.  GO2FOUNDATION has the Lung Cancer Living Room on YouTube. It’s a great place to start to become familiar with a whole new language.  

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Hi Charles and welcome here.  Michelle has given you some good info and suggestions. Please let us know what questions you have and how we can support you. That's what we're here for!  

Bridget O

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