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New Life After Lung Cancer Surgery

By |2022-10-04T12:52:08-04:00October 15th, 2022|Categories: Cancer|

Matt Fox of Manalapan has more treasured time with his family in his future, because he’s now a lung cancer survivor.

Matt had smoked for most of his life, which increased his risk for lung cancer. When his wife, Mary, saw information about CentraState’s lung screening program, she convinced him to participate. Last year, the low-dose CT scan that he received through the program found a tiny nodule on his right lung to monitor. This year, his screening revealed that the nodule had increased in size, requiring action.

“My wife’s encouragement to get screened saved my life,” says Matt, age 63, who quit smoking two years ago when his first grandson was born. “She’s the real hero here.”

Through the lung screening program, annual low-dose CT scans are covered by Medicare and most private insurance for those who meet the criteria (see below), according to Sharon Lorfing, APN, who directs the program and works closely with primary care providers in monitoring patients.

“Lung screening CT scans are the best way to detect early-stage lung cancer before it has spread and while it’s still curable,” says Jean Philippe Bocage, MD, thoracic surgeon at CentraState. 

A Day to Remember

On June 1, Dr. Bocage removed the stage one lung cancer nodule through video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), a minimally invasive procedure performed at CentraState. On that same day, Matt’s second grandson was born.

“I believe in karma, and this experience renewed my faith,” says Matt.

“Matt is a perfect example of why we need lifesaving screening programs like this,” says Dr. Bocage. “Since the inception of these programs, we’ve seen a 35 percent improvement in five-year survival rates for patients with stage one lung cancer. If lung cancer is caught in later stages when symptoms arise, it’s much more difficult to treat.”

Matt was discharged from the hospital the day after surgery and resumed work as an electrician in July. He’s looking forward to retiring in a year or two, and has one thing on his mind as he gets to watch his grandchildren grow.

“I’m going to spoil my grandchildren and my wife,” he says. “That’s my job in life from now on.” 

Are You a Candidate for Lung Screening?

Coverage criteria for annual screenings: Adults ages 50 to 80 (50 to 77 for Medicare patients) who have smoked a minimum of 20 “pack years” (the equivalent of one pack a day for 20 years or two packs a day for 10 years), currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and exhibit no symptoms of lung cancer. CentraState also offers low-cost, self-pay options for those who do not meet insurance guidelines.

Learn more or schedule a screening by visiting or calling 855-411-CANCER (855-411-2262).

Need Help to QUIT Smoking or Vaping? Check out CentraState’s “A Time to Quit” program at




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