June 1, 2023
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Biology professor gives insight into lung cancer

Colleges Against Cancer held a presentation on tobacco use at 6 p.m. Nov. 22 in the Taughannock Falls Room in the Campus Center. The event, titled “An Inside Look at Tobacco Use and Lung Cancer,” was led by Maki Inada, assistant professor of biology.

The event was part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. Junior Sarah Pfeifle, co-chair of education and advocacy for Colleges Against Cancer, said the smokeout is a national movement to encourage people to quit smoking.

Despite never having smoked, Inada is a lung cancer survivor. Inada spoke to the group about the five years she spent in cancer treatment.

After developing an ongoing cough, she said she was urged by her husband to go to a clinic. While at the clinic, the doctors found a 7-inch tumor lodged in her upper lung. She said she went through a series of surgeries to have the tumor removed.

Inada said the cough came back again, and this time she had to get part of her lower lobe removed as well as a small part of her diaphragm.

Junior Sarah Boyle, co-chair of advocacy and education for Colleges Against Cancer, said she thought Inada’s background in biology helped make the presentation more interesting.

“It was fascinating to learn about the biological mechanisms and how everything’s working,” Boyle said. “She did a really good job of bringing that information to the audience, to someone who doesn’t necessarily have her same background.”

Pfeifle said she thought Inada’s presentation was a good mix of personal experience and science.

“It went really well,” Pfeifle said. “She is very good at integrating her story with science.”

Senior Jackelyn Branco said hearing from a cancer patient gave her a different view of the disease.

“It was nice to hear a cancer patient’s perspective,” Branco said. “It really hit home.”