Lubbock, Texas — A New Mexico man who received treatment at the Joe Arrington Cancer Research and Treatment Center is cancer-free.

Joe Lavender told he went in for a health examination and it took a turn when his doctor did an x-ray on his chest and found a spot.

The spot resulted in being a cancerous spot and was at stage one, which is the earliest stage of cancer.

Lavender said he had surgery to have it removed. Six months later, it returned and doctors said they couldn’t surgically remove it.

“He said, we’re going to have to treat it with chemo,” said Lavender. “He told me he was going to start aggressively to get that, see if we can get it, and which we did. I did six cycles, which is 18 treatments. I come down every three weeks and spend three days here and have three days of chemo. “

After undergoing multiple treatments, Lavender got the good news from doctors that he was cancer-free.

Lavender continues to explain that he is undergoing immunotherapy and that has helped keep him cancer-free.

Darla Porter, a nurse practitioner at Joe Arrington, explained the difference between chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

“It’s alerting the immune system to be smarter to attack cancer cells,” Porter said. “And it is a wonderful thing. Chemotherapy has lots of terrible side effects, like losing your hair, causing your blood counts to be low, affecting your mucous membranes, your ability to eat. There’s lots of different things that chemotherapy attacks, but that because that’s just how it works, immunotherapy is more specific, but it’s not completely benign.”

Porter said lung cancer is a sneaky disease, and it is important for anyone to get their lungs checked, whether you are a smoker or not.

Porter said, “If you’ve had lots of years of smoking, whether you quit or not, you could qualify for a low-dose CT scan. And that’s a screening. And we are finding lung cancer super early because we haven’t been able to do that before.”

Lavender said catching his lung cancer early saved his life and he hopes his story can help others and now he can enjoy more time with his grandkids.

Lavender said, “I thank the Lord and thank them for saving my life.”