New tools help in earlier lung cancer detection

New advances in diagnostic tools mean earlier detection and better chances for a cure.
New advances in diagnostic tools mean earlier detection and better chances for a cure.

Rickey Brumlow remembers the day when he went in for a checkup on an aortic aneurysm.

"Dr. Holden came in and said I have really good news for you. It's not grown. The medicine's working and you're doing great. But I have bad news. You have a spot on your lung and I'm pretty sure it it's cancer," Brumlow recalled.

Other than having his tonsils removed at age 5, he was never admitted to a hospital. He quit smoking 17 years ago and says he is lucky more than one doctor is working on his case.

"Him and Dr. Holden and Dr. Smith and my heart doctor, Dr. William Schneider said you know, this has got to come out," said Brumlow.

His surgery was in August and he is now on chemotherapy. He was very impressed with the team approach.

"Each one of them knew my situation. And they talked. They talked every week about me, and it's very comforting to know that you don't have one person looking after you; you have a bunch of people looking after you," he said.

Pulmonologist Dr. Jason Smith agrees with the approach and said there are big medical strides, locally. "The last two years have been real big for us diagnostically. From a radiology standpoint with our new lung cancer screening CAT scans which are low-dose CAT scans."

"We have a super-dimensional bronc that allows us to go after these small nodules that you would never be able to do four or five years ago," added Smith. "We found that we can pick up smaller tumors or tumors of early stages much better than usual."

Newer tools mean earlier diagnosis and treatment, and cures take the place of comfort.

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