They immediately turned the car around and called Dr. Randall Oyer, Medical Director at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, to make an appointment.
“When I first got the call, I thought to myself, this is probably nothing to worry about,” says Lew. “At 88, I’ve lived through a lot and there isn’t much that worries me.”
A retired business owner of a printing and publishing business, Lew was a former smoker (at one point, two packs a day), but he quit smoking more than 30 years ago. Lung cancer was the furthest thing from his mind.
After an MRI showed that he had a cancerous tumor, Lew was referred to Dr. Jennifer Worth, LG Health thoracic surgeon. “Dr. Worth was terrific,” says Lew. “She explained everything to me and we discussed my treatment options. After a review by the lung cancer treatment team, it was decided at that point that I didn’t need surgery.”
“I was really impressed with the team approach at the Cancer Institute,” says Lew’s wife, Ned. “Everything was well coordinated. I went online to research Lew’s condition and treatment for lung cancer and I felt extremely confident that Lew was getting great care. It’s also nice to know that LG Health is part of Penn Medicine,” she says. “When it comes to cancer care, it’s great to have a partner like Penn.”
The lung cancer treatment team recommended radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. The Cancer Institute offers several innovative therapies, including Cyberknife®, to treat lung cancer. Lew’s treatment utilized Tomotherapy®, a modality that uses stereotactic radiotherapy to precisely target the tumor. “Tumor tracking is extremely important when treating lung cancer patients,” explains Dr. Kishor Singapuri, radiation oncologist. “The technology we use is like a GPS, tracking the tumor as the patient breathes so that we can precisely deliver the maximum dose of radiation, while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.”
Lew took the radiation treatments in stride. “I’m a nuclear survivor. At the end of World War II, we took ships in the South Pacific to Bikini Atoll and exploded two nuclear bombs. A little radiation doesn’t scare me!”
After just five treatments, Lew’s tumor shrunk and there is now no evidence of his cancer. He and Ned are able to plan their next trip overseas. “It’s great to have this Cancer Institute here in our community,” remarked Lew. “When you come here, you immediately feel confident. Everyone is so professional and courteous and it’s all under one roof. I knew I was in good hands and was going to get the care I need. I never considered going anywhere else.”