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Media captionThe UK’s biggest cancer murderer
She has also been treated with targeted medication therapies.
“They offer a very effective stay of execution. So for me, for example, I have been on a targeted therapy for approximately one year which meant that I could live basically a normal life, ” she said.
“I was very active. I could breathe properly but they don’t last for ever. The problem is that cancer tends to be one step ahead.
“My husband – his life has totally changed and it’s not what I wanted for him; but you are familiar with, if we get through this, we’ll be so strong, ” she added.
According to the leading medical charity Cancer Research UK( CRUK ), 98 people die of lung cancer in the UK each day – stimulating it the country’s biggest cancer killer.
In around 14% of cases, those who get the disease have never smoked.
Despite this, there is no screening programme for the disease, something which the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the UK’s merely charity exclusively dedicated to lung cancer, is campaigning for.
Cancer Research says there is no national program in part because it is not clear that screening would save lives, the tests have risks and they can be expensive.
Plus, there is a concern screening could cause over-diagnosis – meaning some people may have therapy they do not need.
Dr David Gilligan, a consultant oncologist at Addenbrookes and Papworth hospitals in Cambridge, says late diagnosis is a disaster for patients.
“It’s a massive problem because these people who are diagnosed with lung cancer and have never smoked are really quite angry that they are assumed to have smoked and they have self-inflicted this cancer … when clearly they haven’t, ” he said.
“Because of the route that the disease behaves, and that these people are not expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer, they are not high risk, they are usually diagnosed at a later stage and therefore treatment can often not be curative, which is a complete and utter disaster for them.”
Most lung cancers are diagnosed at stage four, which means that the tumours have spread.
Sufferers often experience no symptoms and many of them are first diagnosed when they present at Accident and Emergency departments.
The median prognosis is 200 days but if caught early, there is up to a 73% increased chance of surviving over five years.
The British Journal of Cancer predicts that lung cancer suits in the UK will double from 65,000 in 2010 to 137,000 in 2040 and that females will be worst affected.
The number of women with lung cancer is expected to virtually quadruple within the next 30 years, from around 26,000 in 2010 to about 95,000 in 2040.
In contrast, the figures for men are predicted to increase by 8 %, from 39,000 to 42,000 over the same period.
However, partly due to the negative associations of smoking, lung cancer remains the poor relation in the cancer family.
It receives a fraction of the research funding of other cancers.
Just PS7 08 is spent on research per lung cancer death, compared with PS3, 570 for breast cancer, PS7, 640 for leukaemia and PS10, 116 for testicular cancer.
The entertainer and host of BBC TV’s “Record Breakers” Roy Castle, also a lifelong non-smoker, succumbed of lung cancer in 1994.
Paula Chadwick, chief executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, paints a stark picture of why the investigations and treatment is so poorly funded.
She argues that it is almost a “Cinderella” disease, because of the stigma that comes with the idea that it might be self-inflicted.
“A lot of patients believe that it is their faulting as well, ” she says.
“But it doesn’t matter if you are a smoker , non-smoker, or ex-smoker, if you have lungs you can get lung cancer, it does not discriminate.
“Sadly we don’t have that army of proponents or those ex-patients who can help us create the profile because it does have poor survival rates, she adds.
A cure or effective long-term medication therapy for lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers remains a way off.
There will be many more examples like that of my sister Sarah before this disease, which can strike down healthy young people indiscriminately, is tackled and beaten.
Watch Clive Coleman’s full report on the Six O’Clock News on BBC One this evening.