New technology detects and diagnoses lung cancer earlier

Dr. Andrew Apostle points out a small lesion easily removed by SPiNView® that other technology would not be able to reach.

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Maryann DeVincentis never leaves the house without a comfortable pair of shoes and a Fitbit to count her steps.

“I like to do about 5,000 a day,” DeVincentis says.  “Just track it wherever I walk, whether it be in the store, whether it be outside, whether it be in the home.”

On this Monday morning, DeVincentis tracked her steps at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.  She is meeting with Dr. Andrew Apostle, who recently used the new SPiNView® Thoracic Navigation System to biopsy a tiny lesion on her lung.

Dr. Apostle demonstrates how it works on a mannequin.  With a scope down the throat and GPS, he can access a nodule the size of a pea.

“There would have been no way we’d have been able to get this before,” Dr. DeVincentis explains the technology is so precise that doctors can reach anything a CT scan picks up to make a diagnosis sooner.

Maryann DeVincentis tracks her steps each day.
Maryann DeVincentis tracks her steps each day.

“Early detection is the key to surviving lung cancer,” he says.  “Late detection, low survival, early detection high survival.”

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, killing more Americans each year than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 224,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. The good news is that with early detection, the survival rate increases from 15 percent (stage IV) to as high as 92 percent (stage I).

SPiNView® gives patients same-day results, so there is not waiting and wondering.

“To have the results, the procedure and the results done in one day was very comforting,” DeVincentis remembers.  “That’s peace of mind.”

She is now celebrating news that her nodule was benign but knows even if it was cancer, SPiNView® would have given her a better chance.  Her recovery from the procedure was minimal, and she was quickly back on her feet walking, spending time with her grandchildren and everything else she likes to do.

“I am doing great,” she says.  “For that I am very grateful, and I keep on going like this.”

Medicare and insurance plans cover lung cancer screenings for anyone considered high-risk.  To learn more about if you’re a candidate, follow this link.

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