HealthWACH - Pinpointing lung cancer

HealthWACH - Pinpointing lung cancer


Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and this holds true for both women and men. A tumor is the biggest indication that a person may have cancer. Tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Lung cancer is known to spread throughout the organs of the body and is very hard to control. Lung cancer can spread to the brain, liver, bones, or adrenal glands.

At times, symptoms do not arise until later stages. Most symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Wheezing

  • Chest pain

  • Coughing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Coughing up blood

  • Hoarseness

Now, doctors are taking CAT scans during surgery to remove cancerous parts of the lung. This procedure is beneficial because doctors are able to see an accurate image of the tumor so they can pinpoint exactly where to make the incision and remove the tumor. Traditional procedures require a lot of guessing and uncertainty, which often leads to the reoccurrence of the cancer. This new procedure provides patients with better lung function, faster recovery, and quicker delivery of therapy. Similar techniques include:

  • Navigational bronchoscopy uses real-time electromagnetic guidance to improve navigation within the lung parenchyma and offers diagnostic benefits over standard flexible bronchoscopy. This technique is valuable in performing biopsies of peripheral lung lesions and mediastinal lymph nodes for the staging of lung cancer.

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) enables visualization of the tissue beyond the bronchial wall, including lymph nodes and lesions outside of the bronchial airways. This technique also enables simultaneous diagnosis and lung cancer staging