Screening and Second Opinions for Lung Cancer Diagnosis

meet the author

Iris Goldenberg is a lung cancer patient being treated at Lenox Hill Hospital.

In 2018, I had an appointment with the hairdresser to come home and I felt very sick. I had a fever and chills and I knew something was wrong. My husband took me to the hospital where they did a scan and found a nodule in my lung.

I was told that the tumor in my lung was inoperable and they couldn’t even do a biopsy because of the location of the nodule.

I was stunned by the news that they were unable to do a biopsy to find out more. I feel condemned.

I was shocked by the news of the diagnosis…I felt condemned.

Luckily, my daughter-in-law helped me get in touch with the doctors at Lenox Hill Hospital at Northwell Health in New York City, where they performed the biopsy. The first time I saw Dr Raoof, the pulmonologist there, he was very soothing and calming. He made me feel more comfortable because I was scared to death. He assured me that regardless of the outcome, we will get through this together as a team.

I am so grateful for my decision to get a second opinion so I can have my biopsy and treatment at Lenox Hill. The doctors there gave me hope that things would improve.

The biopsy showed precancerous cells, so I was sent to Dr. Lazaro, the thoracic surgeon there, who was also reassuring. In 2018, he performed a lobectomy on my right lung. It seemed to be a success and I continued to have follow-up scans every six months after the surgery.

I am very grateful for my decision to seek a second opinion.

Unfortunately, three years after surgery in 2018, they found another lesion in the same lung. So I have another surgery in March 2021.

They found another lesion on my most recent scan, but this time in my left lung. We are now deciding on the next steps, which may include radiation. I was scared and I knew my body was fighting against me. But I also know that my doctors do everything they can to take advantage of the options they have. I am very grateful to Dr. Lenox Hill.

Now, I want to run away. Honestly, I try not to think about it and just live in the moment. My husband and I run errands and get out of the house just to get my attention. This way, you don’t focus on yourself and the diagnosis.

I am lucky to have such a strong support system in my family. I have a husband, two children and three grandchildren to take care of, so I don’t want to go anywhere. One of my grandsons is getting married this June (2022) and I want to go there.

The support system is very important. My husband has been with me through everything. We just celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d keep him.

My luck in all of this is that I know I’m not feeling right. I listen to my body.

My luck in all of this is that I know I’m not feeling right. I listen to my body. I recommend that people check regularly, especially if you are a former smoker. Ask for a chest X-ray and seek the care you need. Getting a second opinion is really important and can make a huge difference.

While I’m not in the best part of my journey right now, I hope my story can be helpful to others facing lung cancer.

Facts About Lung Cancer

VigorTip words

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and you are struggling with your diagnosis, there are support groups and resources available. It can be helpful and comforting to talk to others who are going through the same experience. The American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association can help you find local or online chapters. VigorTip Health has a list of lung cancer support groups and communities that you can review.