My Crozer-Keystone Story: Beth Gamber - Lung Cancer Screening Program Patient - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on December 01, 2015

My Crozer-Keystone Story: Beth Gamber

Lung Cancer Screening Program Patient

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Mary Wascavage
(610) 284-8619
Mary.Wascavage@crozer.org

My Crozer-Keystone Story: Beth Gamber

Following a lung screening CT, Beth Gamber,
a 40-year smoker, was diagnosed with cancer.
Fortunately, the cancer was found early and
Gamber didn’t require chemotherapy
or radiation.

The odds were certainly not in Beth Gamber’s favor.

Being a smoker for over 40 years, over the age of 55, and having a family history of cancer significantly increased Gamber’s risk of cancer. Her brother passed away from lung cancer at age 68, and her family has a very strong history of cancer—including lung, breast, colon and brain.

In 2013, at the urging of her close friend and Delaware County Memorial Hospital employee Debbie Simon, Gamber had a lung cancer screening CT scan. A newer service, one that Crozer-Keystone adopted early on, lung cancer screening CT is a fast and painless test that looks for abnormalities in the lungs. After her CT scan, Gamber was met with both good and bad news.

The bad news was, the test revealed a small nodule on her left lung. The good news was, after having a follow-up PET scan, no cancer was found anywhere else. As is typical with former and current smokers, Gamber was told to continue with periodic CT screenings to watch the nodule. “I had abused my body, and more importantly my lungs, for too many years and I was paying the price for it,” Gamber says. “I had COPD and now a nodule on my lungs. With that I quit smoking, cold turkey.”

So in 2014 Gamber had her follow-up CT scan. More bad news; the nodule had grown larger. Patti Hollenback, nurse navigator for the Crozer-Keystone Lung Program, helped Gamber set up a follow-up appointment with Stacey Su, M.D., director of Thoracic Surgical Oncology at DCMH. Presented with several options, Gamber decided to forego a biopsy and just have the nodule removed.

On Nov. 3, 2014, the nodule was removed and diagnosed as stage 1A lung cancer. This round of bad news came with good news: Because the nodule was caught early, Gamber would not need chemotherapy or radiation. “Dr. Su, her physician’s assistant – Kerry, Patti Hollenback and the whole staff are caring and compassionate,” Gamber says. “I thank them all for what they did for me.”

Gamber’s recovery included oxygen therapy and physical therapy. She feels that the course of events has truly changed her life. She no longer needs medication, has been smoke-free for over two years, and continues to walk as much as she can to increase her lung capacity.

Gamber follows up with regular screening CT scans to make sure her lungs continue to stay clear—another requirement for ex- and current smokers. “I can honestly say that I have not felt this good in a long, long time,” she says. “I am happy to say that I am a lung cancer survivor, and believe that this is solely because I took advantage of Crozer-Keystone’s early screening program at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.”

Crozer-Keystone offers the Lung Screening CT Program at multiple locations. Patients must meet specific criteria. For more information, visit crozerkeystone.org/lung or call one of the lung navigators at (610) 284-8158 or (610) 447-2655.

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