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How one routine cancer screening saved the life of a Racine woman

Studies show a single screening test can reduce the mortality rate by 20%, if cancer is detected
Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 19:55:41-04

RACINE — Jo Anne Potter scheduled a routine doctor's appointment right before the pandemic with her primary care doctor. She brought her daughter, Lori Booth, in with her because she had concerns about her mother's history as a smoker.

Potter was hesitant to share, but Booth spoke up to explain Potter's medical history to her doctor and expressed concern. Both mother and daughter had seen several members in their family battle cancer, and wanted this to be known.

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"I said, 'is there any kind of test we can do, like a scan or anything? And she said, 'you know there is.'"

The doctor recommended a CT lung scan for Potter, and she was a bit hesitant.

"I’m like, 'one test can make a difference. If it’s nothing, then it’s nothing. But if it's something, it could save your life,'" said Booth.

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And it did. After a series of appointments, the lung CT scan showed something suspicious and later a biopsy confirmed that Potter had early stages of lung cancer.

"Just so thankful that we had this test done because, once we found out that this was indeed cancer, it was in the early stages. Had we not had the test done, it could have been very late stages before she even had symptoms," said Booth.

According to Dr. Bill Tisol, the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, he believes early detection is key.

"A lot of people don't know this, but when you're dealing with early-stage lung cancer, many times the only thing you'll need is surgery. You will not need chemotherapy or radiation," said Tisol.

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This was luckily the case for Potter. She went through surgery and is now cancer-free.

"Man, was I lucky," said Potter.

Dr. Bill Tisol is encourages all to speak with their primary care doctor if they have any concerns in order to get a CT lung scan.

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