Matt, a 28-year-old graduate student from Ohio, has been fighting stage IV adenocarcinoma of the lung with multiple metastasis since age 24, and he's never smoked. Nonsmokers make up approximately 15 percent of lung cancer patients and often attribute symptoms to other problems, resulting in later diagnosis. Matt developed a persistent cough during his summer break from medical school, but he had a history of seasonal allergies so he didn't think twice about it. He also noticed some dull pain in his chest and shoulders, but had recently begun a more rigorous workout routine.
At first, Matt dismissed these common lung cancer symptoms, but decided to get a routine physical at the end of the summer, a decision that would ultimately save his life. On August 26, 2011, which was just a few weeks before Matt was supposed to report back to medical school, a series of doctor visits and testing revealed he had stage IV adenocarcinoma of the lung with multiple metastasis in his lymph nodes and sternum.