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There’s a common saying in medicine: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” It makes sense. After all, the obvious answer or the most common diagnosis will be correct most of the time. That is, if a young, generally healthy person has a mild cough, it makes sense to look for an upper respiratory infection or simple cold and not immediately jump to the possibility of lung cancer. But sometimes it is lung cancer, and that’s why, while the odds are that when you hear hooves it’s a horse, it’s important to remember that every once in a while, it’s a zebra.
“I look in the mirror and wonder how I can be so ill and yet not look ill. I look in the mirror and say, ‘you may be ill girl, but that’s not going to stop me today.’ ”
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