Fighting Stage 1 Lung Cancer
- Comedian Kathy Griffin, 62, recently shared a daring photo of her rocking a bikini.
- With many cancer survivors reporting that they saw their bodies differently after a cancer battle, it’s nice to see Griffin showing what body confidence can look like for survivors.
- Griffin revealed her stage 1 lung cancer diagnosis via social media in Aug. 2021. For treatment, she underwent a left lung resection that took a huge toll on her vocal chords.
- Thankfully, she is cancer-free and doing better now with an upcoming show scheduled for June in Las Vegas.
In a recent post to her Instagram, the fiery comedian and lung cancer survivor exuded confidence while striking a superman-like pose in a bikini.Read More
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The toll that cancer has taken on Griffin’s body might not be visible to general onlookers, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t impacted the way she’s seen her body. Many survivors struggle with body image after a cancer battle, so we love to see Griffin embracing her body and rejoicing in all it’s overcome the last couple years.
Other cancer survivors, like Ann Caruso, have opened up about how cancer changed the way they looked at their bodies. She underwent 12 surgeries to treat her breast cancer.
Celebrity Stylist Ann Caruso on Beauty and Femininity After Cancer
“You’re not the same carefree person that you once were, and it was very hard for me to look at myself every day,” Caruso previously told SurvivorNet. “It was like I was a totally different person and didn’t fit into any of my clothes for so long.”
Since the celebrity stylist beat her disease, however, she’s learned a whole lot about femininity and body image. In sharing her story with SurvivorNet, she hopes to help other survivors regain their confidence after treatment.
“Femininity is a state of mind,” Caruso said. “And I think that’s something that we have to remind ourselves.”
Kathy Griffin’s Lung Cancer Journey
Kathy Griffin told the world about her stage 1 lung cancer diagnosis as a non-smoker in Aug. 2021. For treatment, she needed surgery to remove half of her left lung since the cancer seemed to be contained there.
RELATED: Comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, Celebrates Six Months of ‘Clean’ Scans After Lung Cancer Treatment
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In December 2021, she told fans she was cancer-free. But she still had a lengthy recovery ahead of her given the fact that her voice was altered by an intubation tube used during surgery. She jokingly referred to her new voice as “Minnie Mouse meets Marilyn Monroe.”
After sharing that her six-month check up scans were clear in February 2022, she later told fans she was concerned about the way that her doctor handled her initial treatments.
“He ruined my vocal chords & my arytenoids permanently!” she wrote in August 2022. “My voice is my living. It’s discouraging 2 me that people are sticking up 4 a surgeon who has caused me so many difficulties. I had stage 1. I sure wish I had gotten chemo/radiation instead of surgery with this hack Dr.”
Girffin has since been seen by a doctor who made her feel heard (something our experts recommend if you feel your concerned aren’t being addressed appropriately), and she continues to make strides in her recovery.
“My heath is pretty good. And I’m cancer free, which is great!” Griffin said in a September 2022 update for E! News. “But I did sustain some injuries from the surgery. So, I’m working on my voice to get it better, keeping my fingers crossed, but it used to be even worse than this.
“At least now I can be heard, it was like a whisper for six months.”
It’s unclear exactly what procedure she had done, but a post from December 2022 revealed Griffin was having another surgery to address her voice.
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“I’m feeling sorry for myself and I’ll tell you why,” she said in a video. “Because I’m on my way to the hospital again, because I have to go into general to get another procedure on my vocal cords.
“So, the good news is I get to come home today. But last time I got this done, it hurt for like seven days. But I’m just being a baby. But I want to get my voice back, you know, I’ll do anything.”
Thankfully, it seems Griffin is doing better today because she recently announced an upcoming show at the Las Vegas Mirage in June.
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“You guys, it’s happening! My first show back @themiragelv in 6 years on Saturday, June 17, 2023! Come see me!” she wrote in social media announcement. “It’s not like we don’t have a lot to discuss. 🔥 Tickets on sale tomorrow, check back here for Fan Code to get the best seats before the public on sale Friday.”
Treating Stage 1 Lung Cancer
Cancer that is localized to the lung and has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs throughout the body is known as early-stage lung cancer and typically refers to stages 1 and 2. The goal of treatment for early-stage lung cancer, especially stage 1 lung cancer, is the surgical removal of the tumor by using a procedure called a lobectomy.
Surgery to remove the cancer is considered the gold standard for stage one lung cancer, says Dr. Joseph Friedberg, Thoracic Surgeon-in-Chief at Temple University Health.
After the cancer has been removed a definitive staging takes place. Once the cancer is removed a doctor known as a pathologist will take a closer look at the surgical specimen (what was removed during surgery) to evaluate several specific components that will help your doctors know what steps (if any) may be needed next.
First, the pathologist will examine the tissue to make sure the doctor was able to surgically remove 100% of the cancer. This is known as surgical margin status and the goal is to have a negative margin. This simply means there is non-cancerous tissue surrounding the tumor and that your surgical team was able to remove all of the cancer. If you are reading your pathology report and you see the term “negative surgical margins,” this is a good factor.
Next, the pathologist will check the lymph nodes and any other tissue the surgeon removed to ensure the cancer has not spread to other areas in the lung. This is known as pathologic staging and is more accurate compared with the staging completed before surgery. In cases of stage 1 lung cancer, rarely, the pathologic and clinical (staging done before surgery using imaging) stages will be different, but the pathologist will check the tissue to ensure the cancer was not more extensive than previously thought.
Finally, the pathologist may perform additional biomarker testing to see if your type of lung cancer may benefit from additional therapies or treatment known as adjuvant treatment. Typically, stage 1 lung cancer that has been completely removed by surgery does not require any additional treatments. However, studies are being conducted to see if patients with certain biomarker profiles may benefit from additional therapies or medications after surgery. It is becoming more routine that early-stage cancers are tested for these biomarkers.
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