New technology aims to diagnose lung cancer earlier and more accurately

New technology at Bon Secours St. Francis hopes to help diagnose Lung cancer earlier and more accurately
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 12:40 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Dr. Steven Samoya knows a lot about cancer as a former pediatric anesthesiologist.

But the disease took on a new meaning for him when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affects the lungs and esophagus.

“I made it through surgery. Unfortunately, I was not able to keep one of my lungs, it had reached all the way down into the lung and they actually deconstructed and reconstructed my airways,” he said.

That was nearly five years ago.

It took a few months after Samoya started feeling symptoms before his cancer was discovered and treated.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Americans, but doctors at Bon Secours St. Francis say that new technology can help diagnose the disease earlier and more accurately.

The technology uses robots and cameras that go inside a person’s lungs to grab some of the potentially cancerous tissue.

Now doctors can see what they’re going after the whole time.

There are other ways to diagnose lung cancer, like surgery or CT-Guided Lung Biopsy, but they’re not as safe and accurate as this new technology.

“It allows for a very timely approach to lung cancer where you don’t really want to delay diagnostics and things because you want to jump on it as quickly as possible if you can,” explained Bon Secours Pulmonologist Dr. Ezzat El-Bayoumi.

That early detection of lung cancer can be the difference between life and death for some.

Doctors say this technology can help.

“One of the characteristics of lung cancer is that once symptoms develop it is already quite advanced. It takes a long time for it to grow to a size where it starts impacting surrounding tissue and causing significant symptoms,” said El-Bayoumi.

Now, Samoya no longer works as an anesthesiologist because he is physically unable after losing a lung but he’s happy to see the new technology and treatments for patients just like him.

“It would have helped me a great deal and I know that it would have helped thousands of people I’m sure. To be able to get an earlier diagnosis like most cancers, if not all cancers, an earlier diagnosis usually helps out and gives you a better outcome,” he explained.