Bronchoscopy: a thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue. Learn more about a bronchoscopy here.
Endobronchial Ultrasound: We use endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to diagnose and stage lung cancer, and to determine if the disease has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes.
During an EBUS procedure, a thin, flexible instrument called a bronchoscope is fitted with an ultrasound device and guided through the patient’s mount and trachea.
This technique allows us to obtain real-time images in and around the lungs and to identify difficult-to-reach tumors. We can also use EBUS to biopsy a tissue or fluid sample from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes of the chest.
EBUS is a less invasive alternative to conventional mediastinoscopy, a surgical procedure requiring a series of incisions in the chest under general anesthesia. Using EBUS, we can perform the same procedure using a very thin needle aspiration under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.
Electromagnetic navigation – WellStar West Georgia Medical Center is one of the first few hospitals to offer patients Veran™ Medical Technologies Total Navigation Oncology Solution. This comprehensive technology allows for easier navigation to lung, liver and kidney biopsies, as well as drainage and ablation procedures.
The Veran SPiN Drive® Platform enables physicians to locate and diagnose lung cancer at earlier stages compared to traditional methods. The electromagnetic navigation system, complete with Always-On Tip Tracked™ instrumentation, offers patients a minimally-invasive approach to navigate to lesions located deep in the lungs.
Similar to GPS technology used in a car, the SPiN Drive® Platform works with a standard CT image of the patient’s lung, which is used to automatically create a “route” to the lesion allowing physicians to easily biopsy and place markers for planned treatment.
With minimal discomfort for the patient, this new procedure avoids the need for higher-risk procedures to remove the lesion on their lung.
West Georgia Medical Center is pleased to offer a more efficient and safer method of biopsy of lung nodules and masses for patients with hard-to-reach lesions on their lung, with no incision necessary. This system navigates through a patient’s airway to the suspicious lesion deep in the lungs, with lower radiation to the patient, physician and staff. For more information, visit Veran Medical Technologies' website.
Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) - Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create detailed pictures, or scans, of areas inside the body. Yearly lung cancer screening with low-dose CT, or LDCT, has been shown to save lives by finding lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Studies have shown that when compared to single-view chest X-ray screening, LDCT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at risk. LDCT lung screening is recommended for people who are at high risk for lung cancer but have no symptoms of a lung condition. High-risk would include those ages 55-77 who have smoked at least an average of one pack a day for 30 years. This includes people who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Like CT scans, MRI scans provide detailed images of soft tissues. But MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. A contrast material called gadolinium is often injected into a vein before the scan to better see details.MRI scans are most often used to look for possible spread of lung cancer to the brain or spinal cord. Rarely, MRI of the chest may be done to see if the cancer has grown into central structures in the chest.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET): Often a PET scan is combined with a CT scan using a special machine that can do both at the same time. This lets the doctor compare areas of higher radioactivity on the PET scan with the more detailed appearance of that area on the CT scan. This is the type of PET scan most often used in patients with lung cancer. If you appear to have early stage lung cancer, your doctor can use this test to help see if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other areas, which can help determine if surgery may be an option for you. This test can also be helpful in getting a better idea if an abnormal area on another imaging test might be cancer. PET/CT scans can also be useful if your doctor thinks the cancer might have spread but doesn’t know where. They can show spread of cancer to the liver, bones, adrenal glands, or some other organs.
Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) - Also known as Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), this form of radiation therapy may be an option for those diagnosed with lung cancer. SABR/SBRT uses Rapid Arc technlogy with our existing Clinac IX Linear Accelerator to deliver high doses of radiation incredibly precisely to the tumor area. It is designed to completely destroy all the tissue in the target area similar to when a physician cuts out the tumor. By using high-powered computers to design the treatment, the radiation beams can be personally sculpted to match the exact size and shape of the tumor so the surrounding healthy tissue is not destroyed. SABR/SBRT technology compensates for the motion a patient makes due to breathing while treatment. By using precise tumor-tracking techniques, SABR can be used to destroy lung cancers or metastases, especially in patients who would not be candidates for surgery. Lung SBRT can treat early-stage patients with a very high rate of tumor control (greater then 90 percent).