PORTLAND, Maine (WCSH) – What if you never smoked, were never around anyone who smoked, had no family history of lung cancer, and were still diagnosed? That is unfortunately the reality for Alexandra Babcock.
At just 35 years old, she was told she had Stage IV ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer.
“It was devastating. You just don’t expect that to happen,” Babcock says.
Last year she was struggling to catch her breath. Her doctor first thought it was asthma, but she knew there was something more serious going on. After many appointments and a chest X-ray, doctors found a large mass in her lung.
“At that point it had spread to my lymph nodes in my neck, my clavicle area, along my windpipe, which is the reason I couldn’t breathe,” she says.
According to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America, her diagnosis occurs in younger patients usually 55 and under who have never smoked.
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