You’ve never smoked a day in your life because you know how damaging it is to your health. So, you don’t have to worry about lung cancer, right?
According to the American Cancer Society, 20% of those who die of lung cancer are non-smokers.
Add to this the fact that lung cancer in its earliest stages typically doesn’t show any symptoms, and you can see how important early detection is in order to save lives.
But for a long time, this was problematic. One of the screening tests for lung cancer is a bronchoscopy, where a thin tube is passed through the nose (or mouth) into the lungs. This allows a doctor to carefully examine the inside of your lungs.
However, the lungs are full of nodules that are small and hard to reach. Traditional bronchoscopies had difficulty reaching them.
But now, thanks to the Monarch™ Platform robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, doctors at Conway Medical Center have the best diagnostic tool for lung cancer detection—and we are the only ones in the state besides MUSC who have it.
The goal of Auris Health’s Monarch™ Platform is to enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the periphery of the lung.
How Is Using Monarch™ to Treat Lung Cancer Different?
Improved vision, reach and control make the Monarch robotic-assisted bronchoscopy far superior to earlier techniques. Not only does it provide a clearer view for the physician, but it enables them to see places on the periphery—areas that were previously harder to discover a lung cancer diagnosis.
Previous diagnostic options had limitations—they were not as accurate, not as safe, and they were more invasive. As a result, false positives and false negatives occurred.
But with the Monarch ™ Platform, pulmonologists (doctors who specialize in treating the lungs), have more control than ever. It utilizes computer-assisted navigation that is based on 3-D models of the patient’s own lung anatomy. Another advantage is that physicians are able to have continuous vision of the bronchoscope throughout the whole procedure.
The Monarch ™ Platform Provides Better Early Detection of Lung Cancer
Did you know that early stage cancer typically has no symptoms?
Usually when it is discovered, it’s already at an advanced stage, spreading to other areas and organs. This is one reason why 90 percent of those diagnosed with this cancer do not survive.
This new robotic system enables physicians to accurately pinpoint a cancer diagnosis at its earliest, and most treatable stages.
What Is a Common First Sign of Lung Cancer?
At first, this cancer doesn’t have any symptoms, so the only way to determine whether or not you have it is to undergo a screening. In fact, many people have lung cancer for years without knowing they have it.
Symptoms usually only appear once the disease has advanced. At this point, signs can include:
- A persistent cough that doesn’t go away
- Coughing up blood (in any amount)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Bone pain
- Losing weight without trying
How Common is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, but it is the deadliest—more Americans die from cancer of the lungs than from any other type of cancer. Roughly 80 to 90 percent of these cancers are found in those who were smokers.
While cigarette smoking remains the most common cause of cancer of the lungs, some cancer diagnoses are among those who have never smoked.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 20,000 to 40,000 cases of this cancer every year occur in people who have never smoked or in people who have smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
Some studies show that as many as 7,300 cases of lung cancer may be due to secondhand smoke.
What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?
Smoking still remains the number one risk factor for developing lung cancer, but it is not limited to cigarettes. Pipes and cigars are equally unsafe and place you at risk.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. This is an odorless, tasteless, naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt. It can get trapped in buildings and houses, leading to roughly 20,000 cases of lung cancer every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Radon is estimated to affect 1 out of every 15 American homes, which is why radon testing is so important.
Other risk factors include:
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Regularly working around toxic substances such as:
- Exhaust (diesel)
- A family history of lung cancer
Trust Your Lung Care to Conway Medical Center
As one of only two facilities in the state to offer this revolutionary robotic technology, Conway Medical Center remains on the forefront of the latest medical developments.
Our lung experts will tailor a plan for your lung condition that not only manages your symptoms, but also keeps you comfortable. Using this technology will enable us to pinpoint any signs of lung cancer at its earliest—and most treatable—stages.
Our Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine departments work closely with primary care specialists as well as cardiologists to diagnose and treat a variety of respiratory issues. We even offer extensive pulmonary rehabilitation services.
In addition to diagnosing cancer of the lungs we also treat a variety of conditions including:
- Pleural diseases
- Sleep disorders, including:
- Sleep apnea
See why we’re the provider of choice for the Myrtle Beach, Horry County and Pee Dee region. Contact one of our experts so we can evaluate your risk for lung cancer and determine if a screening is appropriate.