This medical video looks into the new treatment that makes it easier to target tumors.
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Jennifer Mathews: If all we need is love, this grandpa's life is complete. But last September, Larry Quinn was diagnosed with lung cancer. Something all the love in the world could not fix. Larry Quinn: I went to my surgeon. He said, Larry, there ain't nothing I can do. I can't operate on you. If I do, I got to take 50 to 60 percent of your lung out. And with your lungs like they are, you wouldn't live. Jennifer Mathews: But a breakthrough technology gave him an alternative to surgery. It's radiation therapy that precisely targets tumors. Alan Forbes: This has really been the goal of lung cancer treatment with radiation over the past 20 years. Jennifer Mathews: In the past, doctors had to radiate the area around tumors because they can move as patients breathe during treatment. That can lead to lung damage, breathing problems, and less successful treatment. With the new technology, an x-ray identifies exactly where Larry's tumor is from a marker coil. Then a computer system processes the information and turns the radiation beam on and off based on how he's breathing. Alan Forbes: It's fantastic. It's at the point now if someone comes in with stage one or two lung cancer, it's the only option. Jennifer Mathews: Radiating a more specific area will allow doctors to use a higher dosage. For patients, that could mean a better chance of survival. For Larry, that means spending more time loving the little things in life. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.