5th November 2018

Iain Trent

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“The moment she said you have a tumour on your lung that didn’t feel real. It feels like someone has given you a death sentence.”

As a young, fit, non-smoker, lung cancer was the furthest thing from Iain’s mind. So when he was diagnosed in May 2017, he simply couldn’t believe it. He’s now encouraging others with symptoms to go to their doctor and insist they explore it thoroughly – regardless of if they are high risk or low risk.

Iain shared his story as part of our Face your Fear campaign

“I was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2017. It was a complete and total surprise.

It sounds terrible but it was always in my mind perceived as something that people who have smoked and who are older get it. I never ever thought it could happen to me. It just wasn’t on the radar.

The moment the doctor told me I had a tumour on your lung, it just didn’t feel real. I had this period of absolute total despair. You almost get to the point where you are planning your own funeral, picking what song it’s going to be.

But my understanding of lung cancer now is very different. You can survive it. The treatment is improving considerably and that’s reflected in the results. For me, it’s a condition that I’m living with and you can live with it. It’s definitely not a death sentence.

Iain, living with late stage lung cancer

The treatment became like a project. All my life I’ve worked on projects so my chemotherapy just became another project.

I had spreadsheets of when I was having treatment broken up into three week periods so I knew this week I was going to feel bad, that week I was to be recovering and that week I would feel a lot better. It helped me stay in control and manage life and work.

I’m lucky, whilst I’m not cured, my lung cancer is under control. However, had I caught it earlier, the chances of it being cured would have been significantly higher so the advice to anyone with any kind of symptoms is go and see the doctor and insist they explore it thoroughly.