In this medicinal video learn about lung cancer patients experience complications similar to those of asthmatics. Now a new treatment could help them.
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Jennifer Mathews: As Joe Johnson enjoys time with his nephew, he has a sense of comfort that he hasn't had in more than a year. Joe Johnson: Sure enough, that's when they told me I had lung cancer. Jennifer Mathews: He had chemo and radiation to fight the disease, but he had another, more immediate concern. Joe Johnson: I was wheezing so bad, it just -- it was just like asthma attack most of the time, day-to-day, everyday. It restricted my activities completely. I couldn't do a lot of the things I used to do, especially walking. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Kevin Kovitz says breathing is a big problem for lung cancer patients. Kevin Kovitz: Probably the worst thing that could happen to a lung cancer patient, in terms of their fears, is to have a suffocating feeling. Jennifer Mathews: To alleviate that fear, Dr. Kovitz uses lasers to clear out tumors and create more breathing room. Then, stents keep airways open. Kevin Kovitz: I am a plumber of the airways. By being plumbers, we open up the pipes, improve the air flow, improve the oxygen getting it to where it needs to go. We can relieve that shortness of breath pretty readily in those patients with large airway obstructions and they brighten up. Jennifer Mathews: Joe had a laser procedure and a stent. He brightened up right-away. Joe Johnson: It's tremendous. I get a lot more air, and I can walk a great distance now. I just look at it one day at a time, regardless. But now, I can breathe a lot easier every day that I do wake up. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.