Spring 2012
My doctor suspects I have lung cancer. She is sending me for a surgical biopsy. Is there a non-surgical alternative?

Pulmonary Disease Specialist Daniel Rudolph, MD, responds:

Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) may be an option for you. EBUS is used to detect and monitor cancers of the lungs and surrounding chest area that have traditionally required more invasive surgical approaches, such as open lung biopsy, to evaluate. An open biopsy uses surgery to make a cut (incision) between the ribs and remove a sample of lung tissue. EBUS is performed during a bronchoscopy, a procedure involving the placement of a tube through the mouth or nose into the large airways leading to the lungs.

Never Ignore These Symptoms
While no single symptom necessarily means you have cancer, it is best to speak with your doctor if you experience any of the following:
  • Persistent or unexplained cough or hoarseness
  • Coughing up of blood
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Unexplained weakness, fatigue
Bronchoscopy is a same-day (outpatient) procedure done after the patient receives anesthesia. When the tube is in place, a special ultrasound probe is used to send sound waves through the walls of the airways into the surrounding areas, including the lungs and the part of the chest between the lungs.

If abnormal areas are seen during the ultrasound exam, a tissue sample (biopsy) is taken and sent for laboratory analysis to determine the presence of cancer or other abnormalities.

EBUS has proven to be effective in determining the stage of lung cancer and other thoracic (chest) cancers. Knowing how far the cancer has spread is important in determining the best approach to treatment.

In addition to diagnosing and staging lung cancer, EBUS may also be used to detect infections or help diagnose other lung conditions.

When choosing a pulmonary disease specialist, be sure to select an expert physician affiliated with Bridgeport Hospital:

If you would like more information about, or a referral to, any of these expert physicians, please visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/FindPhysician or
call 1-800-794-5013, toll free, 24/7.
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