Baptist Health Floyd: Detecting and Treating Lung Cancer
Thoracic surgeon Michael Bousamra, MD, discusses new technologies for detecting and treating lung cancer, including a developing clinical trial that uses breath analysis to detect cancer.
Detecting and Treating Lung Cancer HealthTalks Transcript
Michael Bousamra II, MD
Lung cancer can be detected early by CT scan screening. We have CT scan screening programs in the Baptist Health system. Patients who are eligible are those who have smoked 30 pack years in their life and have quit smoking less than 15 years before. CT scans can detect lung cancer while the nodules are still small and before they’ve spread. With that, we’re often able to perform minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery to remove the cancer and potentially cure it. Surgery for lung cancer most commonly involves a procedure called a lobectomy. That’s when that given region of the lung where the tumor is present is entirely removed — about one-third to one-half of a given lung.
At Baptist Health Floyd, we’re very excited about a developing clinical trial to test breath analysis for the detection of lung cancer. Over the past several years, my colleagues and I have been developing a breath analysis method that identifies a certain set of compounds in the breath called carbon EELS, and a subset of those compounds are diagnostic of lung cancer. We think it’s a very exciting and potentially an enormously cost-saving method to detect cancer. We estimate it could save America billions of dollars a year in healthcare costs.