• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Treatment advances keep lung cancer in check

January 27, 2019

Sharing Mayo Clinic lung cancer patient Kurt Jacobson sitting on a porch, smilingKurt Jacobson blamed Florida. He'd developed a cough in the Sunshine State and thought it might be from something in the air. But when Kurt, a former pastor, returned home, the cough remained. He wasn't worried, though. After all, it was November. The 59-year-old Cumberland, Wisconsin, resident knew all about winter colds.

But when the cough lingered into January, Kurt started to become concerned. So did those around him.

"People kept telling me to get it checked," Kurt says. He did and was diagnosed with sinusitis. "I went on an antibiotic for 10 days, and it had no impact," he says. "I continued to cough to the point of gagging."

At the end of February, a chest X-ray suggested Kurt had pneumonia. But another round of antibiotics again failed to curb the cough. A follow-up X-ray showed his lungs were unchanged. He was scheduled for a CT scan two days later.

"By that time, I'd begun to have other symptoms," Kurt says. "I was losing weight, and my appetite had decreased. I wanted to sleep all the time."

He'd searched his symptoms online, so the doctor's report that followed the CT scan did not come as a surprise. "They thought I had lung cancer," he says. Additional testing confirmed that Kurt had stage 4 non-small-cell lung cancer. Read the rest of Kurt's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.