When Loretta was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in February 2003, she thought it was a death sentence.
The news came as a shock to her and her family; she had two young children to care for and feared that her time left with them would be limited because of her illness.
In the video below, Loretta shares her story, and the new hope that she has found through innovative treatments. Twelve years after her original cancer diagnosis, Loretta is not only surviving, but thriving.
Annually, 580,000 Americans lose their battle with cancer, equating to 1,600 deaths daily. However, the death rate of cancer has fallen 22% since its peak in the 1990s, in large part due to progress in medicines and treatments. Loretta credits innovation in cancer research over the past decade as a major factor in her survival: “I wouldn’t be here without it, and I am certain of that,” she says.
Thanks to scientific advances made by America’s biopharmaceutical companies, we are at the threshold of a new era of cancer treatment. Researchers are developing new weapons to fight the many different forms of this disease and discovering new ways to use existing therapies for treatment, either alone or in combination with other therapies. “It takes a village to do this,” says Richard Gaynor, Senior VP of Oncology at Eli Lilly and Company. “It’s expensive, it’s high risk, it’s challenging. But in the end, it’s very rewarding.”
At a time of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs in oncology and thousands of novel treatments on the horizon, biopharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Company are leading the charge to discover a cure. Thanks to these treatment innovations, patients like Loretta are looking at their diagnoses with a new perspective. “It was a death sentence,” says Loretta. “And then, in time – when I got used to the idea – I realized it’s a life sentence. I will live with this, and I will live well, for the rest of my life.”
Get alerts of patient stories, From Hope to Cures and other updates here.
Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.