Friday, March 7, 2008
Medical Reports: Lung Disease
This year alone, 200,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. That diagnosis used to mean a painful, invasive procedure, but in today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us how a new technique may give pain-free answers within minutes.
WSVN -- For Will Kirkland, cooking meals for seniors and the homeless is therapy, but a lung problem makes even simple activities painful.
Will Kirkland: "They told me I have a mass in my lung and what it's doing is it's fighting against my lung and keeping me from breathing in and out like I'm supposed to."
But is it cancer? To find out, Will is undergoing a new procedure called an endobronchial ultrasound. The scope, which has a mini ultrasound probe at the end, is placed down the windpipe, allowing the doctor to see into the lung area.
Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: "It would almost be like going into a tunnel and needing to see the fish outside the tunnel. You're not going to see them, but the endobronchial ultrasound allows us to see through the walls of the tunnel."
A needle passed through the scope takes tissue samples which go straight to the pathologist standing by. The advantages of ultrasound? Doctor Mullins says it's much less invasive and yields quicker results than traditional biopsies. Will's results? No cancer. He has a treatable inflammatory disease called Sarquidosis.
Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: "I think we'll see Will gain some weight and feel better probably in a couple weeks."
For Will's wife, Melody, good news.
Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: "He's going to do just fine."
And some very happy tears.
Christine Cruz: "Doctor Mullins says patients should remember that this procedure cannot diagnose lung cancer earlier. It does, however, allow doctors to make a diagnosis without surgery."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion
St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital