LODI, Cali. – Nov. 11, 2016 – Frances Silva smoked for more than 30 years. The 73-year-old says when she was young, she didn’t know about the risks.
“Back then, in the 1940’s and 50’s, everyone smoked. You just didn’t hear about it causing lung cancer, or being dangerous in any way,” said Silva.
She finally quit her habit, but the damage was done. Last October, Silva was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, an aggressive form of lung cancer that grows very quickly creating large tumors and spreading throughout the body.
She immediately began chemotherapy, and her oncologist referred her for radiation therapy under the care of Travers J. McLoughlin, M.D., Board Certified Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director at Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute, a 21st Century Oncology affiliate.
“That was a blessing, being referred to Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute. Dr. McLoughlin is so knowledgeable, and he puts you at ease more than any doctor that I’ve ever been to. His staff was wonderful as well, and always did their best to make me comfortable,” said Silva.
Following five weeks of treatment, Silva began the recovery process, and now she is in remission. She says she knows she’s lucky to be alive. The statistics weren’t in her favor.
“Each year more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. It is such an invasive disease, and it’s very difficult to catch it early if people don’t go for regular screenings. More than 200,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year alone. If you smoke, or have smoked in the past, you have a 25 times greater chance of becoming part of that statistic,” said Dr. McLoughlin.
Silva knows those statistics all too well. Now she hopes that her story can serve as a lesson.
“Hearing that diagnosis is the worst thing that could have possibly happened. My world dropped out. But I have wonderful friends and relatives that helped me get through it, along with a lot of prayers. Now, I’m still here, hopefully to serve as an example to others, especially young people. Your health is the most precious thing you have, and once it’s gone you can’t replace it. It’s not worth even the slightest risk.”
For more information about our services, visit www.bschaffercancer.com or call (209) 365-1761.
About 21st Century Oncology:
21st Century Oncology is the largest global, physician led provider of Integrated Cancer Care services. The company offers a comprehensive range of cancer treatment services, focused on delivering academic quality, cost-effective patient care in personal and convenient settings. As of June 30, 2016, the Company operated 183 treatment centers, including 147 centers located in 17 U.S. states and 36 centers located in seven countries in Latin America. The company holds market-leading positions in most of its domestic local markets and abroad.