Eighty-year-old Lois Bennett is a shining example of the importance of early detection and how PIH Health provides state-of-the-art healthcare to patients who need it.
After smoking heavily for more than 50 years, Lois was at high-risk for lung cancer. She was enrolled in PIH Health’s Lung Cancer Screening Program, which provided regular computerized tomography (CT) scans of her lungs to check for small spots that could be cancerous. PIH Health Internal Medicine physician Sy Oang, DO, was performing the scans and was closely monitoring a four-millimeter nodule in her upper right lobe since 2014.
But when Lois was admitted to PIH Health Whittier Hospital with an unexpected case of pneumonia in 2016, a low-dose CT scan of her chest revealed a suspicious 10-millimeter nodule as well.
Tests showed that Lois had a very early stage (Stage 0) adenocarcinoma of the lung. Lois underwent successful removal of the upper lobe of her lung through a one-and-a-half-inch incision, a procedure, pioneered by Eduardo Tovar MD, PIH Health cardiothoracic surgeon that allows patients to leave the hospital earlier than at most other institutes.
Nearly two years later, Lois is doing well, with no evidence of further lung malignancy. “Fortunately, her cancer was found very early when it could be surgically removed, so she didn’t need chemotherapy,” said Dr. Tovar.
Today, Lois is a dedicated volunteer at PIH Health Whittier Hospital, where she plays the piano in the main lobby.
“The PIH Health doctors and nurses have saved my life several times. Every health experience I’ve ever had at PIH Health has been fantastic. That is why I love volunteering here so much…it gives me a chance to give back to the hospital that has given so much to me.”