Just as last week's column attempted to describe the loss a surviving cancer patient feels when a fellow cancer patient succumbs to his disease, this week's column will attempt the opposite: describe the feeling a surviving cancer patient feels when a new lung cancer patients joins the club. Specifically, an individual (who I met this week, coincidentally) who exudes the kind of confidence and positive attitude necessary to endure the bumpy road ahead.
Patrick Forde, MD, has a lot of experience running clinical trials. At any given time, he is running five to ten active clinical trials for patients with lung cancer at Johns Hopkins University. These trials span the full spectrum from early-stage to metastatic lung cancer. The majority of the trials he runs involve the use of immunotherapy drugs—drugs that leverage our natural immune system to combat disease.
In spite of mostly-successfully not being preoccupied with my condition/circumstances/disease, when a lung cancer survivor dies, even one with whom I've had minimal contact; one whom I could barely call an acquaintance, the link in the chain that makes all of us lung cancer patients/survivors stronger is most definitely effected.
Each year Viswam Nair, MD, manages treatment plans for hundreds of patients at Stanford University. A pulmonologist with formal training in epidemiology, Dr. Nair stays current on the latest scientific breakthroughs to offer his patients the best possible outcomes.