Woman in her 70s finds cancer early, emphasizes importance of annual screenings
BATON ROUGE - A former smoker in her 70s is advocating for those at high-risk to be proactive when it comes to their health.
Cindy Landry considers herself the "most blessed person on Earth." A smoker of 35 years, she quit after watching her son pass away of cancer.
"He said, 'Mama, I can't bear to think that you would have to go thorough what I'm going through.' So I laid down my pack of cigarettes and my lighter and never touched them again," Landry said.
From that moment on, she vowed to take better care of her health and began getting annual cancer screenings at Baton Rouge General. The screening consists of a low-dose C.T. scan of the chest to check for nodules in the lungs.
In June, a tumor was discovered in the upper portion of Cindy's left lung. Doctors performed a surgery to remove the cancer, and no other treatment was necessary due to it being detected so early.
"The goal of cancer screening is to find it early, and that's really the only way to find it early. Because most lung cancers are asymptomatic until it's very advanced," said Dr. Stephen Brierre, chief of medical care at Baton Rouge General.
Because of the annual cancer screenings, Cindy Landry will be spending the holidays with her family.
“When I tell you I’m probably the most blessed person you’ll ever meet, I’m serious. I am very, very fortunate, because I didn’t take care of my health like I should have,” Landry said.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, with smoking being responsible for up to 90 percent of cases. Baton Rouge General identifies those who are "high-risk" to be anyone between the ages of 55 and 77, with a significant smoking history. A significant smoking history is defined as at least one pack per day for more than 30 years.
Anyone who is eligible and interested in finding out more information about cancer screenings should speak to their physician.