Lung Cancer Or Fruit Pit?

By: WTSP/CBS
By: WTSP/CBS

For 28 years, Blanca Riveron suffered from a debilitating, nagging cough. Her breathing--labored. Doctors treated her countless times for asthma and pneumonia.

"It's been horrible," said Blanca. "My life had just been horrible."

In December, Blanca coughed up blood. Her daughter, Dayana, brought the 62-year-old to doctors again. And this time, they found a mass in Blanca's lung. A dark spot they suspected was cancer.

Blanca called her daughter, Melody, who still lives in Cuba. She told her about the diagnosis. But then Melody reminded her mother of a story from three decades ago. When Blanca was eating a piece of fruit called nispero.

Blanca had all but forgotten the story of the time she yelled to her children and accidentally inhaled a nispero seed.

"I told my daughter 'no, it can't be it," said Blanca. "It's been 28 years--I mean it can't be it."

Ridiculous, thought Blanca, that a pit could be the culprit after three decades. But a few weeks later, after a second endoscopy, Blanca was sitting at a traffic light, started coughing violently, and out it came. The seed that had sat in her lung--since 1984! The coughing? Practically gone.

In two weeks, Blanca will go back to the doctor to check her lungs again, but she's already breathing so much easier she believes in her heart it was the pit all along--not cancer. The family calls it a gift from God. A second chance. A miracle.


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  • by Mike Wizard Location: Los Angeles, CA on Apr 26, 2012 at 11:33 PM
    June 2006, similar event happened to a 67-year-old man in Norfolk England. X-rays showed apparent cancer, an operation was planned, but a visiting respiratory doctor noted the patient's recurrent bouts of pneumonia. Dr Tariq followed the clue, used a camera probe to check the suspicious mass, and then pulled it out... the "cancer" was a cashew nut, inhaled 18 months earlier.
  • by Tina Location: Colorado Springs, CO on Apr 26, 2012 at 07:07 AM
    Wow, that's long time!
  • by Malpractice on Apr 26, 2012 at 05:03 AM
    I'd call it incompetent Doctors. That, and managed healthcare. 30 years of treating respiratory problems and no one ever took a chest x-ray before?
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