Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove a cancerous portion of his left lung. Coleman, in a Facebook update, said that all visible traces of the cancer was gone.
In what my surgeon, Dr. Shanda Blackmon, and her fabulous Mayo Clinic team has described as a most challenging surgery, in part because of the scar tissue from earlier radiation treatment, I can share with you that she is pleased with the outcome.
After 7 hours of surgery, and determining the cancer was more invasive than seen in earlier scans, she successfully removed the lower left lobe- and all traces of visible cancer.
Last August, Coleman learned that the throat and neck cancer he began battling in 2015 had spread to his lungs and was at the most advanced stage. After heavy doses of chemotherapy, Coleman said the tumor was gone.
Still, his doctors had him undergo a program of intensive radiation for five weeks in hopes of crushing the disease.
But a follow-up PET scan last month showed a spot on his lungs that doctors thought could be either “radiation irritation” or a recurrence of the disease. Another scan five weeks later showed the spot had grown, and a biopsy determined that the cancer had returned.