Best Life: Spotting the lesions in the lungs before they turn deadly

Best Life: New procedure to help detect lung cancer early

CLEVELAND, Ohio. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Lung cancer is the second most common cancer. More people die from it than any other cancer.

People who smoke are most at risk of getting it, but you don’t have to be a smoker to get lung cancer. Now, a new procedure is helping diagnose lung cancer early, increasing the odds of beating this deadly disease.

“The only symptom I had was excessive coughing,” David Sherman told Ivanhoe. “Never in my life did I ever think I could get lung cancer. Never even touched a cigarette in my life. Not after seeing both my parents die from cigarette smoking, horrible deaths.”

But a CT scan revealed 13 tiny lesions on Sherman’s lungs.

“It’s essentially an abnormality in the lung tissue,” detailed Daniel Raymond, MD, a thoracic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Raymond and his team used a new minimally invasive approach called microcoil localization to pinpoint the lesions and remove them, without harming healthy lung tissue.

First, a radiologist uses a CT scanner to insert a needle loaded with a platinum thread through the chest wall, through the lung and then into the nodule. Using video-assisted technology a surgeon locates the coil and removes a wedge of tissue containing the lesion. Within 20 minutes, the tissue is examined, and doctors know whether it’s cancerous or not.

“The majority of the lesions we've taken out are cancers,” said Dr. Raymond.

In Sherman’s case, the team discovered one of the nodules was very early-stage lung cancer and removed all the cancerous tissue.

“If we can start diagnosing them earlier and treating them earlier, we can save a lot of lives,” explained Dr. Raymond.

Cancer-free Sherman is ready to take on his next adventure and wherever he goes you can bet he will spread the word.

“If you have a nagging cough, especially if you smoke, but even if you didn't, check it out,” said Sherman.

The Cleveland Clinic team’s first 20 cases using microcoil localization has a 100 percent success rate in retrieving the lesion with clear margins, meaning no cancer cells were detected at the outer edge of the removed tissue.

Eighty-five percent of lung cancers are diagnosed at stage four meaning that they have metastasized somewhere else in the body. Dr. Raymond is optimistic that the widespread use of microcoil localization will help doctors find more lung cancer before it gets a chance to spread.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer, Marsha Lewis, Field Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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