Understanding the signs of lung cancer is essential in staying proactive against this deadly disease. November is lung cancer awareness month, as increasing lung cancer awareness is critical, as it remains the number one cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States. One of the biggest reasons it has such a higher death rate than other cancers is that it is challenging to detect early. For example, sometimes, lung lesions can be impossible to identify while using traditional biopsy methods. A lack of understanding can often cause lung cancer symptoms to be too far advanced before it’s even discovered.
Advances in Early Detection of Lung Cancer
Fortunately, technology continues to evolve to make it easier to detect any abnormalities or potential signs of cancer within the lung at a much earlier stage. This new technology is known as “Ion,” a robotic-assisted tool that allows pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons to navigate the human lung during surgery easily. This new tool makes it possible for doctors to identify lung cancer much earlier and more accurately than any existing technology. This entire process allows patients to begin effective treatments sooner, which will often lead to better outcomes.
How Ion Works
The robotic catheter offers advanced maneuverability to navigate deep within the lung, as it can easily pass through small and hard-to-reach airways. The surgeon also uses a peripheral vision probe throughout the navigation process. After the target nodule is reached, the catheter will lock in place to stabilize the biopsy tools. The flexibility of the needle offers even greater precision, as it can reach even the most difficult nodules to help identify lung cancer symptoms.
Kathleen Keenan Weil is a lung cancer survivor diagnosed over 20 years ago, as doctors had to cut eight inches from underneath her armpit and down to her rib cage during the initial procedure. She was recently diagnosed with lung cancer again. Still, this time the biopsy occurred with the assistance of Ion to help better pinpoint the location of cancer, which makes it possible for the doctor to create a more effective treatment plan.
Using this innovative technology is a significant improvement compared to previous procedures used for the early detection of lung cancer. The advancement of Ion makes it much easier to assist doctors in performing a wide range of actions, whether a biopsy or putting dye within the lung nodule. Combining this technology with the DaVinci Surgical Robot makes it possible to resect the nodule during the same operation, which saves a lot of time while helping the patient recover quicker.
Early lung cancer detection is essential in helping a patient experience a full recovery. Using new tools to detect the signs of lung cancer is also critical to lowering the death rate of this disease. Robotic tools can play an important role in identifying lung cancer symptoms before it’s too late. Robotic technology will only continue to quickly evolve in the medical field, as using this innovative tech will play a critical role in improving the success of lung cancer treatment.