An Example of the Importance of Early Detection
Leslie Kingon, a retired New York City teacher and World War II veteran, considers himself to be a great example as to why early detection of lung cancer is so important.
In October 2007, a new pulmonary nodule was discovered in his left lung. The surgery to remove it revealed that he had the earliest possible stage of the disease.
A Low-Dose CT (Computed Tomography) Scan
Leslie began with the Lung Screening Program in 1997 after his wife saw a mention of the program in the local paper and thought it would be a good idea for him to be screened.
He had a low-dose, baseline CT scan and then continued to return to the program for seven years to receive an annual CT scan – but then he stopped. For three years he declined having the scan, despite letters and calls from the Lung Screening Program reminding him of his appointments. Finally, in 2007, he relented and had another CT scan that picked up a new, small nodule in his left lower lobe.
Leslie then underwent minimally invasive surgery at Mount Sinai to remove his left lower lobe. "You can’t see any marks," he says of the surgery's outcome. "I don’t know how they do it." Leslie was home from the hospital within a few days and did not need chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
More Time for Living
Leslie had smoked for 62 years but stopped altogether when he came back to the hospital for the operation. He will never smoke again.
Today he is free of cancer and fully appreciates the extra time that he was granted, spending as much of it with his grandson as he possibly can.
Leslie calls the treatment that he received at Mount Sinai "absolutely first rate," and Mount Sinai his "main health resource." Leslie, now 85, continues to come to Mount Sinai for his annual CT scan with the Lung Screening Program and yearly doctors’ visits. He has emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as a result of his many years of smoking, "I was a fool," he says, "and I’m paying the price, but I dodged a big bullet."