I Long To Be King

Zhao Xiaogang, a chest surgeon at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, recently has his English poem about development of lung disease published in CHEST, an internationally-recognized prestigious journal of thoracic surgery. Zhao is the first Chinese doctor to have a medical poem published in this magazine. His poem, “I Long To Be King” shows how a minor lung disease can develop into fetal lung cancer, and has quickly become an internet hit.


The author writes, “Although pulmonary ground glass opacity(GGO) could be benign or malignant , it most likely represents neoplastic lesion. Currently, the detection rate of GGO has increased remarkably in China. As a thoracic surgeon of Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, I have diagnosed a large number of patient with GGO adenocarcinoma in daily clinical practice. I hope more people could understand it and take it seriously.
I am ground glass opacity (GGO) in the lung,
A vague figure shrouded in mystery and strangeness.
When young you called me “atypical adenomatous hyperplasia”,
Then when I had matured, you declared me “adenocarcinoma?in?situ”,
When fully developed, your fearful denomination: “invasive adenocarcinoma”.
From tiny to strong,
From humble to arrogant.
I’ve been nourished on the delicious mist and haze,
That sweetly warmed my heart,
Always loving when you were heavy drunk and smoking,
Creating me a cozy home.
My continuous growth gives me a chance to be king,
As I break through layers of obstacles,
Spanning the mountains and waters.
My fellows march to every corner and occupy every region.

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