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Biomarker testing story

Tom's lung cancer was tested for biomarkers and he learned he was ALK-positive.
Chicago, IL

We asked Tom to share his story with Pfizer

We asked Tom to share his story with Pfizer

My name is Tom, and I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005 while I was training for my 50th marathon. I had a CAT scan due to some complications following a biopsy to test for prostate cancer. The CAT scan didn’t show any prostate cancer, but the doctors found a spot on my lung.

My wife and I searched near and far for the best institution to treat my cancer. Everywhere I went, the first 2 questions the doctors asked were whether I smoke and whether I was exposed to asbestos. My answer to both was no. I had an operation, and they removed a tumor from my lower left lung, which was followed by chemo and radiation. I returned every few months for follow-up check-ups. Five years later, a scan showed 2 small nodules on my chest cavity. I was treated with medication but after about 6 weeks my oncologist decided it wasn’t working.

He sent me to a different medical center where they tested my tumor for biomarkers and discovered it was ALK-positive.

The more research continues, the more options other lung cancer patients will have. The LUNGevity Foundation helped guide me during my treatment at my weakest moments and offers hope for those who don’t have the motivation to fight because of their disease. Through my battle with lung cancer, my faith and determination came from the support of my wife, my family, and the medical staff who helped me. By sharing my story, I hope to provide inspiration and support to others who are fighting this disease.

March 2012