Lung cancer nodules move every time a person breathes, making it incredibly difficult for doctors to pinpoint their location. But now some surgeons are using an electromagnetic system to track this deadly cancer.
The technology that is guiding Aldo Parodi, MD, a Pulmonary Disease Specialist at Baptist Health Systems as he examines the lungs is very much like what drivers use daily to navigate the roadway.
“It’s similar to the GPS,” Parodi said.
The Veran Spin’s thoracic navigation system has electromagnetic sensors that are placed on the patient’s chest. They pinpoint deadly cancer nodules inside, as Parodi uses the bronchoscope.
“So, I am seeing what I am doing in real time, at all times,” said Parodi.
That’s critical, because lung cancer nodules move when a patient breathes, making them nearly impossible to pinpoint and remove.
“It’s going to enable Dr. Parodi to see probably 90 percent more of that tumor than he could with just a regular CAT scan,” said Ernest Gottfried.
When Gottfried first found out he had a carcinoid tumor, his thoughts turned to an old habit.
“Every freshman that I knew when I started college, we all smoked,” said Gottfried.
Gottfried quit 18 years ago. Even with his smoking history, Gottfried has good lung capacity and doctors believe he will benefit from this early interventional technique.
“He doesn’t have to open me up, but it will be like my whole chest is wide open and he can see everything,” Gottfried said.
A click of the mouse to diagnose and plot a course of treatment for early stage lung cancer.
Survival rates plummet when lung cancer is diagnosed at stage three or four; that’s when most lung cancers are diagnosed. Right now, 260 hospitals nationwide are using the new technology, which is covered by insurance.