A grandmother in Texas was diagnosed with lung cancer and recovered the same day.
April Boudreau, 61, woke up from a local anesthetic to find that a tumor in her lungs had been identified — and removed — in one sitting.
“You beat yourself up because you don’t believe this is true,” she told the Daily Mail. “It was all very simple, without radiation or chemotherapy.”
Boudreau has already undergone cancer treatments three times in her life, having survived Hodgkin lymphoma twice in 1984 and 1985 and breast cancer in 2002.
The grandmother was having her annual CT scan in January when doctors discovered a troublesome nodule in her right lung.
She was called to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital for a follow-up exam in the spring. During a lung biopsy, doctors confirmed that the nodule was in fact early-stage lung cancer.
And so the doctors got down to business and decided to remove the cancerous cells immediately while Boudreau was under local anesthesia. The medical team used a new minimally invasive thoracic surgery technique that uses a very thin, robotically guided catheter to target lesions in hard-to-reach areas of the lung.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the state to adopt the new robot-assisted technology, which can identify lung cancer tumors at an earlier stage than traditional diagnostic tests.
The 61-year-old woke up to shockingly discover that she had been diagnosed and cleared of cancer while she was under the illness.
She said the only symptom she had was a little shortness of breath, which she initially returned to due to old age.
During the operation, doctors made just five small incisions on her side to remove the tumor, allowing her to go home the next day.
“I took painkillers for three days, and that’s all I needed. After three days, I was normal, walking around. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
She is now required to increase the frequency of CT scans to every six months, but she is proud to announce that she is currently cancer-free.
One in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime — which means an estimated 236,740 people will be diagnosed with the disease in the United States this year, according to research from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, but last year, those numbers reached an all-time low thanks to falling smoking rates.