Coming Back to Life After Cancer Treatment
- Outspoken comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, has been putting herself out there more than ever after beating stage 1 lung cancer, and has no shame over wolfing down a burger in the process.
- The funnywoman also recently returned to the stage, and is working through her “whispery” voice, which is due to a complication with lung cancer surgery.
- 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.
Outspoken comedian Kathy Griffin, 61, has been putting herself out there more than ever after beating stage 1 lung cancer, and has no shame over wolfing down a burger in the process.Read More
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The funnywoman also recently returned to the stage, and is working through her “whispery” voice, which is due to a complication with lung cancer surgery. The comedy queen is evidently not letting cancer side effects get in the way of doing what she loves, and she has been posting videos on Instagram to prove it!
“Did you catch the THRUST of love between @randyrainbow and I?” She and her pal, fellow comedian Randy Rainbow, 40, shared a little frisky thrust while embracing before taking their places on stage at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. Rainbow, who is openly gay, just released a book appropriately-titled (at least for this duo!) Playing With Myself.
“I finally consummated my relationship with @RandyRainbow,” she expressed of the same moment on Twitter. Griffen moderated the event. Griffen is also featured on the three-time Emmy winner’s spoofy Christmas song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”
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Griffen’s inspiring take on life after cancer and getting back to things she loves—like performing, eating burgers, and sexual jokes—reminds us that we shouldn’t be taking our day-to-day so seriously. Cancer and its aftermath can leave people feeling physically and emotionally spent, but it’s important to keep pushing forward, and not following the so-called rules of a healthy lifestyle is okay in moderation. Don’t deprive yourselves!
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.