Lung cancer is the third most common cancer type in the United States and the world’s leading cause of cancer death. When the disease is discovered early on, it is frequently treatable. As a result, specialists are constantly developing new methods for early detection of lung cancer in order to provide people with prompt treatment.
The type of lung cancer and the stage at which it was discovered will determine the course of treatment. Radiation, surgery, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy are all treatment options. Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, clarified, “Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Although the number of deaths per year is decreasing (due to decreased tobacco use, C.T. screening, and targeted therapies), it remains a very serious medical problem. Outcomes are much better if lung cancer is detected earlier.”
Dr. Jorge Gomez, a doctor with the American Lung Association, claims, “Lung cancer is a disease that can often be cured in the early stages but becomes incurable once [the] cancer has spread. It is important to diagnose lung cancer before it spreads to increase the likelihood of a cure. Early detection initiatives such as C.T. screening are critical in finding small cancers before they spread.”
According to a recent study published in Nature Communications, earlier and more effective treatments for lung cancer may be possible. The detection method for cellular lung cancer is novel. The study focused on lung cancer nodules in particular, looking at a technique to detect cancer at a microscopic level rather than a traditional biopsy and tissue analysis. They used human tissue samples, cell cultures, and mouse models in their study.
The study authors highlights, “This study demonstrated the potential for high diagnostic accuracy when combining a cancer-targeted molecular imaging agent with a real-time needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy system to assess malignancy in small, difficult-to-diagnose lung nodules.”
They claimed that the technique could distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells at the single-cell level. They also discovered that it could detect cancerous cells in tumours with a diameter of less than two centimetres. Since lung cancer tissue frequently contains non-cancerous elements that can prevent detection, the detection method is advantageous for lung cancer.
The study’s researchers describe to MNT how difficult it is to detect lung cancer through biopsy.
Gomez added that the method still requires the use of CT scans, so its significance is limited to distinguishing between cancerous and non-cancerous tumours.