Claire Connolly Stafford was diagnosed with STAGE IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in November 2018. Her only symptom was slight wheezing, a symptom she could have easily ignored. She thought she had allergies and wasn't even going to go to the doctor. A visit to her primary care physician quickly spiraled into an x-ray, CT Scan and a PET scan. Ultimately she was blind-sided with the horrific diagnosis of STAGE IV Lung Cancer and was given a life expectancy of six months.
Claire's experience with Dr. Carbone at The James Cancer Center has given her family hope. Claire has just reached her three year milestone as a Lung Cancer Survivor, and plans on continuing to lead a full life with her amazing family and friends.
Lung cancer is grossly underfunded compared to the number of deaths it causes. Breast cancer has nearly 13 times more funding than lung cancer. The loss of lives per year due to lung cancer is nearly double that of breast cancer. The need is simple: we need more funding! This funding will support research for early detection and newer targeted treatments. Lung cancer has a dismal survival rate, with only a fifteen percent chance of surviving five years, and a less than 1% 5-year survival chance if diagnosed at stage IV, the stage at which it is most commonly diagnosed. It kills more people per year than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. In fact, it kills more than twice as many women per year than breast cancer. There has been a negative stigma with the disease because of its relationship to smoking. However, sixty-five percent of the new cases of lung cancer are among nonsmokers and former smokers. The good news is, there are several new, effective targeted treatments with low toxicities on the horizon.
Claire's mission is to bring hope to the men and women diagnosed with lung cancer every day and to help fund the innovative research necessary for a cure. She is grateful for the love and support from each and every one of you!
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