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Deborah Schoch

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will consider supporting Team Nancy and much-needed research to beat lung cancer.

I learned I had lung cancer just three years ago. My big sister, Nancy Schoch, had received the same diagnosis 14 years earlier. The photo below was taken near her home on Cape Cod five months before she got the news.

While I haven't spread news of my diagnosis widely before now, our two stories show how research can change lives.

Nancy was diagnosed at Stage IV and died four months later.

My own diagnosis was Stage 1A lung cancer, the earliest stage. I'm as active as ever and revving up with Team Nancy for my fifth Your Next Step is the Cure LA 5K walk/run to raise money to fight LC.

The difference: All the medical breakthroughs in the 17 years since Nancy died, made possible with lung cancer research funding.

After Nancy's death, UCLA enrolled me in an innovative early detection program, where radiologists did regular low-dosage CT scans to make sure my lungs were healthy. I had quit smoking in 1985, but many people are diagnosed long after quitting, and LC can run in families.

When doctors spotted a small tumor in one lobe, they detected the cancer with modern biopsy technology. Cutting-edge genetic testing helped guide treatment. My surgeon used new non-invasive techniques to remove the tumor. And, since the cancer was caught so early, no chemo or radiation was needed.

At last year's 5K in San Dimas, organizers gave special maroon t-shirts to participants who were LC survivors. You'll see in the photo above that they defy the old-fashioned notion that lung cancer is a certain killer. I wish Nancy were there.

As a journalist, I don't normally speak out for an advocacy group, but made an exception here, for obvious reasons.

More than 158,080 people in the U.S. died of lung cancer in 2016, more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancer combined.

That included more than 72,000 American women.

You don't need to walk, run or donate money to back the cause. If you have relatives and friends who are smokers or ex-smokers, please spread the word about screening CT scans. You can help smokers quit. And if someone in your life gets an LC diagnosis, you can be there to support them.

If you want more information, please let me know.

Together, we can beat lung cancer.

Sincerely,
Deborah

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