Scott, a healthy, athletic 40-year-old mom of three, was in her Whiteville, NC, home, preparing food for a holiday party when she began to feel dizzy. “I thought, ‘Oh, I must need something to drink’ and took a break,” said Scott. “Within 20 seconds, I went into a full grand-mal seizure.”
A series of scans revealed the cause of her seizure: tumors in her brain that had spread from her lung. A biopsy confirmed that Scott, who had never smoked, had non-small cell lung cancer. Almost immediately, she began receiving radiation treatment.
She also began taking an oral medication targeted to her type of cancer. Scott’s cancer cells had an EGFR mutation, meaning they had an overactive form of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on their surface, which made the cancer cells grow and divide faster. The medication worked “for about 18 months,” Scott said. “Then my doctors started seeing some action in the tumor in my chest.” She had to stop taking the medication and look for other treatment options.