Elizabeth Jaffe, a 61-year-old retired speech therapist who received a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, recalls smoking perhaps one cigarette in her life. Vamsidhar Velcheti, MD, director of the Thoracic Medical Oncology Program at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, tells CBS New York that “anyone with lungs can have lung cancer.” While stage 4 cancer seems like a disease with few options, Jaffe had genetic testing of the tumor, enabling Dr. Velcheti and his team to identify a targeted therapy.
“Typically, when we talk about stage 4 lung cancer, you know, we often kind of think about it as it’s pretty advanced. There aren’t many treatments,” says Dr. Velcheti, also a professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “That’s not true anymore.”
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