• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Complex surgery saves a life and a lung

April 22, 2018

Ken and Martha Settlemire out in the desert and sunshine, smiling and looking happyKen Settlemire's lung cancer care at Mayo Clinic involved an intricate surgical procedure that eliminated the cancer while removing the smallest amount of lung tissue necessary.


Ken is an active 76-year-old. The owner and operator of several tractors and an excavator, Ken does everything from yardwork to building small bridges. But in July 2017, a nagging cough began to slow him down.

Ken first went to see his primary care doctor. When the cough still hadn't gone away three months later, the Altha, Florida, native was referred to a pulmonologist. A CT scan and a biopsy revealed some difficult news: Ken had lung cancer.

At that point, Ken decided to turn to Mayo Clinic. Previously treated at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus for prostate cancer in 2014, Ken knew his condition required the multidisciplinary care Mayo offers. Ken met with Ian Makey, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiothoracic surgeon, on Oct. 16, 2017.

Dr. Makey investigated Ken's situation further and offered a surgical option that not only would treat the cancer, it also would preserve much of Ken's lung function. Read the rest of Ken's story.
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This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

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