Facing Obstacles After Cancer
- Comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, has had some ups and downs since recently battling and beating lung cancer.
- Although the bestselling author’s health has appeared to be on the upswing over the past few weeks, she says that she is currently suffering some setback and has been sick in bed with her four pups.
- Lung cancer surgery impacts the body in various ways. Signs of infection after lung cancer surgery can include: shivering, feeling nauseous, swelling or redness around the surgical wound, and fluctuating temperature. Speak with your doctor if you experience any of these things.
Although her health has appeared to be on the upswing over the past few weeks, she unfortunately seems to be currently suffering some setbacks. Even when she’s showing a more vulnerable Kathy, her sense of humor shines through.Read More
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The Grammy winner—who is married to 43-year-old marketing executive Randy Bick—does not have any kids, but makes it clear to fans how much her pups mean to her. “So here is my #mothersday pic. I am very proud and lucky to be the mommy of these four characters,” she shared. “They keep me going every day. Oh, and sometimes they eat their poo. Can’t win em all.”
The funnywoman recently returned to the stage in her hometown of Los Angeles despite experiencing some changes to her voice. Audience members laughed at first, thinking that her whispery tone was part of a shtick, but she simply doesn’t have her vocal strength back yet and has been continuing to heel. Despite her complications, the admirable bestselling author has been getting up there and doing what she loves to do.
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Griffin was even featured in a “fancy” Interview magazine piece online looking glamorous in Emilio Pucci, and recently headed to a bougie brunch with a gal pal.
We hope that Griffin gets ample rest and starts feeling better very soon so she can get back to living her best life after beating cancer!
Kathy’s Lung Cancer Battle
Getting a cancer diagnosis can stop life in its tracks. Lung cancer is much easier to treat when caught early, so thankfully Kathy’s doctors caught the disease at stage 1, which indicates that the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or other organs in the body.
Griffin, a non-smoker, was diagnosed in 2021 and was very public with her battle.
Symptoms of lung cancer typically include:
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Constant coughing that becomes painful over time
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in voice or difficulty speaking without getting winded
- Pain in the torso, mid- and upper-back, and shoulders
- Discoloration or a sudden change in color of mucus and saliva
Griffin had surgery to treat her disease, which, as she has shared, impacted her voice and her vocal chords. Lung cancer surgery impacts the body in various ways. It may cause fatigue, leaving the patient feeling weak and tired. There’s also the risk of infection after surgery. Signs of infection after lung cancer surgery can include: shivering, feeling nauseous, swelling or redness around the surgical wound, and fluctuating temperature. Speak with your doctor if you experience any of these things.
When you or someone you love is diagnosed with lung cancer, the news can be overwhelming. There are, however, things to know and questions to ask that can be helpful in planning the best treatment possible for each individual.
Dr. Patrick Forde, a thoracic oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, recently sat down with SurvivorNet to talk about the first steps typically taken after a lung cancer diagnosis.
First, your medical team will stage the cancer with imaging, a CT scan usually and sometimes an MRI and MRI scan of the brain. Then they need to get a sample of the tumor biopsy on which they perform some routine tests, the most important of which is a PD-L1 test, which helps direct the use of immunotherapy, but also more complicated testing looking for gene mutations in the tumor.
“There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, which is about 85% of lung cancers, and small cell lung cancer, which is about 15%,” Forde says. “Within that non-small cell category, there’s a subtype called non-squamous adenocarcinoma, and that’s the group of patients for whom genetic testing is very important on the tumor. Genetic testing is looking for mutations in the DNA, in the tumor, which are not present in your normal DNA.”
Dr. Forde says the important questions to ask when you receive a lung cancer diagnosis are:
- Ask about the histology or type of lung cancer
- Ask about the stage of the cancer
- If the cancer is metastatic or stage 4, ask about the genetic mutation results and also the PD-L1 testing
The PD-L1 test is a simple test that involves staining a sample of the tumor with a marker for PD-L1. The lab gives the tumor a percent expression score ranging from from zero where none of the cells have PD-L1 expression and up to 100 percent where all of the cells have PD-L1 expression.
“The likelihood of the tumor responding to immunotherapy depends to a degree on the level of expression,” Dr. Forde says. A tumor with 90% expression PD-L1 on the surface is more likely to respond than one that has no expression.
Dr. Forde says that non-smokers should make sure genetic testing is performed before going directly on immunotherapy.