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Health Beat: Pinpointing lung cancer

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 04 2014 01:57:25 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 04 2014 04:50:53 PM CST

More people in the United States dies from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.

BOSTON -

More people in the United States dies from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. This is true for both men and women.

In the next 12 months, more than 200,000 people will be told they have it. Now, in a breakthrough procedure, doctors have developed a new way to more precisely pinpoint where the tumor is. 

Surgical teams are now performing a new innovative technique that could mean the difference between life and death for Madeleine Florio.

Florio opted for the groundbreaking procedure after watching her mother, father and sister die of lung cancer.

"This is really like GPS. You don’t have to waste time looking at the map," said Dr. Raphael Bueno, thoracic surgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A real-time CAT scan done during the surgery makes this different than a traditional procedure. That accurate image allows Bueno to mark the location of the tumor with a wire. He then makes a small incision and a tiny camera finds the wire and finds the tumor.

Had he performed the traditional procedure, Bueno said he would have removed more of Florio's lung to make sure all the cancer is removed. With the new procedure, he knows he got it all.

"I knew it would have been a longer recovery," Florio said.

Bueno said many patients are at risk for recurrence, so by preserving more of the lung the first time, it could help them later on in life.

He said the procedure is for patients with small lung nodules. Patients with large cancers will need a bigger operation.

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DOWNLOAD and VIEW the full-length interview with Dr. Raphael Bueno about pinpointing lung cancer