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Lung Cancer Survivor Leads The Way In Cherokee County

Published on March 4, 2012 by in Uncategorized

“I am continuing to ramp up the awareness factor for lung cancer because it kills twice as many woman as breast cancer; many don’t know that,” she said. “You don’t have to be a smoker to get it.”

As a lung cancer survivor, Archer’s story is similar to 15 percent of all lung cancer cases.

“I am a lifelong, never-smoking lung cancer survivor,” she said, noting that her family has never smoked either.

As a lung cancer survivor, Archer’s story is similar to 15 percent of all lung cancer cases.

“I am a lifelong, never-smoking lung cancer survivor,” she said, noting that her family has never smoked either.

Forty percent of all lung cancer cases occur in those who either smoke or have formerly smoked.

By: Jessica Wagner

Published: 08 November 2011

Ledger News

Expected to take the lives of more than 4,600 Georgians this year, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths statewide, and for former Holly Springs City Councilwoman Jacqueline Archer, even one life lost to lung cancer is one too many.

“There are not many survivors; there is a 15 percent, five-year survival rate,” she said. “This is compared to an 88 percent survival rate for breast cancer.”

Joined by surrounding municipalities and the county, the Holly Springs City Council officially proclaimed November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month per Archer’s request.”

Her battle to overcome the odds began in August 2005 from what she called “a blessing in disguise.”

“I was in a car accident that resulted in a trip to the emergency room,” she said. “From that visit, it was determined that there were no injuries from my accident; however, they found something in my lung the size of the doctor’s fist.”

What they discovered would forever change Archer’s life; she was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma, the fastest spreading lung cancer.

“I was told that it had to be removed right away …When someone is diagnosed with lung cancer, they do not have time to wait for all of the tests they have to get done; you have to act quickly,” she said.

Quickly mobilizing all of her friends in the medical industry, within 14 days of Archer’s accident and after a 14-hour-long surgery, an orange-sized tumor and 31 lymph nodes were removed from her body.

Archer’s lung cancer was in stage three; however, after 12 weeks of chemotherapy and routine medical imaging, she now is cancer-free.

“Because of the fact that I was 40 years old, never smoked and had stage three lung cancer, I was told that if my cancer had not been found and treated, it would have spread to my brain in six more weeks. I would have probably died in the spring of 2006.”

This month, Archer said her goal is to make lung cancer, a disease she called horribly misunderstood and underfunded, a public priority.

“I would love to provide information through this proclamation,” she said, adding that for every $9 spent on breast cancer research, only $1 is spent on lung cancer research. “(Our) goal ultimately is to make lung cancer a survivable disease.”

In addition to reaching out to local jurisdictions, Archer has sent her proclamation to Rep. Tom Price, a move that the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) recommends.

“The senators in our state have assisted in many ways,” she said. “(Rep.) Phil Gingrey is now going to be my representative; I have yet to reach out to him, but I will.”

The LCA also urges those affected by lung cancer to write a letter to the editor this month.

Those wanting to get active in the fight against lung cancer can also rally behind survivors and those currently battling lung cancer by spearheading a fundraiser,

sponsoring community events or hanging Lung Cancer Awareness posters in clinics, community centers and churches throughout the county.

Archer gets involved through The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI).

“The Lung Cancer Foundation founder is actually a new friend of mine, who was also a stage three, never-smoking lung cancer survivor. Our event that we have here in Georgia actually goes to her organization called ALCMI,” she said.

ALCMI is a nonprofit consortium of hospitals, medical facilities, physicians and caregivers around the world.

“It is patient founded and patient focused,” Archer said.

To get involved in fundraiser events in the metro-Atlanta area or to find a support group, visit www.lungcancerfoundation.org or www.lungcanceralliance.org.

 
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© Jackie's Hope For The Future Of Lung Cancer Awareness