New Technology Available to Diagnose Lung Cancer Earlier

Posted on: November 22, 2013

 

Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy uses GPS-like technology to locate, biopsy and prepare to treat lesions in the lungs

Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s Pulmonary and Therapeutic Endoscopy Lab is pleased to announce the addition of new cutting edge technology in the diagnosis of lung cancer.  Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) is a minimally-invasive technology that helps physicians locate, enable biopsy and plan treatment for lesions (spots) detected deep in the lungs.  It also provides the ability to detect lung disease and lung cancer earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women, but the leading cause of cancer death.  Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.  As with most cancers, the earlier lung cancer is detected, the better chance there is for a cure.

When a suspicious lesion is found on the lung, before treatment can be discussed, the physician must first take a closer look and confirm a diagnosis.  Conventional options for this have included major surgery to remove a section of the lung, bronchoscopy (which does not reach lesions deep in the lungs), needle biopsy or watchful waiting.  However, small lesions in the outer area of the lung are difficult to reach for diagnosis and treatment, leaving only more invasive surgical options for diagnosis.

“As the incidence of lung disease grows in the United States, the challenge of early and accurate diagnosis and treatment of lung lesions is becoming more critical,” said Usha Nayak, M.D., F.C.C.P., pulmonologist.  “There is an urgent need for a reliable, minimally invasive tool for accessing lung lesions, especially those located beyond the reach of traditional bronchoscopes.”

The superDimension® i•Logic™ ENB System combines GPS-like technology with a catheter-based system, extending the reach of the conventional bronchoscope.  This enables physicians to locate small lesions that were previously hard to access.  The ENB technology also uses the patient’s natural airways, so no incisions have to be made.

“We are pleased to offer a minimally-invasive alternative for patients who have a lesion on their lung that is hard to reach or cannot tolerate a more invasive procedure,” said Frank J. DeMarco, M.D., pulmonologist.  “This technology will become an integral part of our longstanding cancer program; it will help many patients.”

ENB is typically performed in an outpatient setting and its unique approach reduces the potential for complications that are often caused during more invasive surgical procedures.  Nearly all patients go home the day of the procedure, without requiring an overnight hospital stay.

The Pulmonary and Therapeutic Endoscopy Lab at Northside Hospital-Forsyth offers diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of lung conditions.  A team of pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, endoscopy nurses and other health care specialists collaborate to develop an individualized plan of care for each patient.

Read more about the Pulmonary and Therapeutic Endoscopy Lab at Northside, lung disease and available diagnosis/treatment options.

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