23rd June 2021

Andrew Spotted the Difference

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Andrew’s only symptom of lung cancer was hoarseness. Working as a music teacher, and singing in a band, he spotted a difference in his voice, that it was a bit croakier than normal. After going to the GP, Andrew was referred to a throat specialist and found ‘something’ has paralysed one of his vocal cords. That ‘something’ turned out to be a lung cancer tumour…

“I didn’t have a cough. I wasn’t feeling breathless. I hadn’t lost any weight, or feeling extra tired. The only symptom I had was this change in my voice, and working as a music teacher and singing in a band, meant it was quite easy for me to spot.

I was told I had stage 2 non small-cell lung cancer and that there was curative intent.

Andrew Libby

I’d never really heard about having surgery on the lung but after my diagnosis I started reading about all the different types of surgery. It was fascinating, and pretty incredible! You can have just a section of your lung removed, or even a whole lung which was news to me!

The size of tumour meant I only need part of my lung removing. I then had some follow up chemotherapy to mop up any rogue cells. The chemo was tough but it was temporary and now life is back to normal. I’m back teaching. I’m back playing my saxophone and singing in the band and my breathing has not been affected in any way because I had part of my lung removed.

For me, that quick diagnosis was massive because I could have easily not been diagnosed, the cancer could have spread and the outcome would have been very different. It’s absolutely paramount that if you do feel symptoms – if you do feel short of breath or you’re coughing lots, even if you’re not sure and just feel uneasy – go and get it checked. I can’t stress that enough, however scared you might feel. I was in the Army for 20 years and nothing was more scary than hearing I had lung cancer but you can get through it, I’m evidence that you can get through it.