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Potato chip credited with early detection of woman's cancer

By Ben Hooper
Potato chip credited with early detection of woman's cancer
Kristine Moore says a potato chip may have saved her life by leading to the detection of a tumor in her throat. Screenshot: WPTV

MARYSVILLE, Wash., April 14 (UPI) -- A Washington state woman said her love of potato chips may have saved her life after an uncomfortable swallow led to a throat cancer diagnosis.

Kristine Moore of Marysville said she has snacked on Ruffles potato chips every day for about 20 years so she knew there was something unusual when a sharp fragment of chip poked her tonsil Feb. 28.

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The tonsil became inflamed the following day and Moore went to a doctor, who thought the patient's throat appeared abnormal and decided to perform a biopsy.

The biopsy led to further tests that determined the cause of Moore's throat issue: a squamous cell carcinoma of the left tonsil.

The tumor was about the size of a quarter, Moore said.

Doctors said the early detection may have saved Moore's life, as the cure rate for her type of cancer is 80 percent if caught early.

The doctors said it could have been several months before the tumor was discovered if it hadn't been for the wayward potato chip.

"The potato chip was a blessing in disguise," Moore told KIRO-TV. "I probably wouldn't have found out another year."

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Moore said she quit smoking after receiving her diagnosis, but her potato chip habit is still going strong.

"I know I shouldn't eat this many, but I love them," she said.

Moore is scheduled to begin radiation and chemotherapy later this month.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is that they're thinking I'm going to be A-OK come August," she told the Everett Herald.

Moore's husband, Bob Metcalf, contacted Frito-Lay, the maker of Ruffles, and told officials his wife's story. The company sent Moore a couple of T-shirts and several coupons for free bags of Ruffles.

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