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New technology used to diagnose lung cancer early

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. This is why the University of Toledo Medical Center just started using a new machine that can identify lung cancer earlier and with more precision.

Dr. Mohamed Omballi is an intervention pulmonologist, or a lung specialist, at UTMC. He says when people come in for a lung cancer screening, he sometimes finds little nodules in their lungs that can be indicative of cancer. These are tricky because the nodules are usually too small to diagnose or too hard to get to. “Imagine yourself having a lung spot,” says Dr. Omballi. “You don’t know if it’s cancerous or benign and you’re physician can’t help you or tell you what it is. It’s too small to biopsy, so we can’t do anything. You can imagine how the patients feel. Now we have this peace of mind where we can actually go after it, diagnose it, have a pathologist in the room who will tell me if it’s cancer or not cancer.”

This procedure may sound scary, but it’s actually quite low-risk. Dr. Omballi says it’s similar to a scope and takes just 45 minutes.

“It’s safe, short, and accurate, very accurate,” says the doctor. “This procedure gives us access to a lot of lung spots and we’re able to help a lot of patients with very small nodules that I can tell you before this, we would not be able to do this.”

UTMC has been using the new technology since March and have already used it about 15 times to help diagnose cancer early, or to give patients the relief of knowing they don’t have the disease.

Dr. Omballi says if you think you could be at risk for lung cancer don’t wait to get tested. “Get screened for lung cancer if you do smoke and you do qualify. Most insurance companies will cover the expenses. If you do smoke and you get screened and we find out you have a lung module, we’ll be able to help with this new technology to diagnose it earlier. Once we diagnose it earlier, that gives the best hope for you.”

Learn more about this new diagnostic tool and lung cancer screenings here.

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