BALTIMORE — The rise of COVID-19 has made 2020 an unforgettable year for a lot of people, but, for Diana Baine, 2020 has become a year that she will never forget for a completely different reason: she was diagnosed with and beat lung cancer.
As a decades long smoker, doctors noticed a spot on her lung and she was sent to MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at Franklin Square Medical Center and that's where she met Thoracic Surgeon, Dr. John Lazar.
"If you take the incidents of breast cancer, colon, prostate and combine them they still have a better overall survival than lung cancer," said Dr. Lazar.
According to Dr. Lazar, the problem with lung cancer is that it grows silently. Since it's not near any nerve endings by the time you have some symptoms it's fairly advanced and that's why early detection is key.
However, in Baine's case, the cancer had not spread, so Dr. Lazar turned to robotic surgery to remove her tumor. This meant that there would be no radiation and no chemotherapy.
"The robot, in her case, really allowed us to complete the whole thing minimally, invasively because there was quite a bit of damage to the lung itself secondary to her years of tobacco abuse," said Dr. Lazar.
The use of robotics allows doctors to get into difficult places and see thing that they would not otherwise see. It also the patient to recover quicker and basically prevents post operative complications, such as pneumonia and irregular heart rate.
According to Dr. Lazar, this new method gives other patients a little more hope because because there are new treatments, new diagnostics and he says the earlier they can detect the cancer the better chance at overall survival.
If you or someone you know has any questions, feel free to tune back in to WMAR-2 News at 5 p.m. where we will have a team of experts from MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center on hand to answer your questions regarding lung cancer.