In this health video learn how researchers have discovered a new, less invasive way of diagnosing lung cancer and other lung diseases.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: For Will Kirkland, cooking meals for seniors and the homeless is therapy. A lung problem makes even simple activities painful. Will Kirkland: They told me I have a mass in my lung and what it's doing is it's fighting against my lung and keeping me from breathing in and out like I'm supposed to. Jennifer Matthews: But is it cancer? To find out, Will is undergoing a new procedure called an endobronchial ultrasound. The flexible bronchoscope with a mini ultrasound probe at the end is placed down the windpipe. This allows the doctor to see outside the bronchial tube and into the lung area. Bronchoscopy alone couldn't do that. Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: It would almost be like going into a tunnel and needing to see the fish outside the tunnel. You're not going to see them, but the endobronchial ultrasound allows us to see through the walls of the tunnel. When we see gray, that tells that's abnormal and you see biopsy. Jennifer Matthews: A needle passed through the scope takes tissue samples which go straight to the pathologist standing by. Doctor Mullins says this technique is less invasive and yields quicker results than traditional biopsies. Will's results? No cancer. He has a treatable inflammatory disease called Sarquidosis. Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: I think that we'll see Will getting gain some weight and feel better really within, probably in a couple weeks. Jennifer Matthews: For Will's wife, Melody, good news. Dr. M. Douglas Mullins: He's going to do just fine. Okay. Jennifer Matthews: And some very happy tears. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.