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Early detection and non-surgical treatment of lung cancer

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Posted at 1:39 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 13:39:33-05

BALTIMORE — Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women in the United States.

It’s also the leading cause of death from cancer, and that's why early detection is all that more important.

Dr. David Perry, chief of Radiation Oncology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, said with earlier detection, treatment can be more focused and less invasive.

For non invasive treatments of lung cancer, Dr. Perry recommends radio surgery or Cyberknife.

Dr. Perry is certified in the use of CyberKnife, a state-of-the-art technology that makes it possible to treat inoperable or surgically difficult tumors safely and painlessly without an incision.

"It's three, 45 minute sessions, painless, and we are able to deliver a high dose of radiation at a high rate of eradicating tumors," said Dr. Perry.

Early detection is important because symptoms of lung cancer do not appear until the disease is already at an advanced stage.

That's why Dr. Perry says it's always best to get screened, especially if you have a smoking history, with your primary care physician.

The main benefit of screening is a lower chance of dying from lung cancer, which accounts for many deaths in current and former smokers.

When lung cancer does cause symptoms, like shortness of breath, many people may mistake them for other problems, such as an infection or long-term effects from smoking, which may delay diagnosis.

Dr. Perry still emphasizes the importance of catching lung cancer early and getting screened, which allows you to explore many different options like a non-surgical treatment.

"Catch it early, get screened, and explore different options. Everyone won't have Radio or CyberKnife options, so it gives people time to seek other options if you catch it early, before it gets to an advanced stage," said Dr. Perry.