Lung cancer screening helps doctors find lung cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable. The American Lung Association recommends screening with low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) for some people who have a high risk of lung cancer. However, most people do not need lung cancer screening.
We use endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to diagnose and stage lung cancer, and to determine if the disease has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes.
Under sedation, an EBUS procedure, a thin, flexible instrument called a bronchoscope is fitted with an ultrasound device and guided through the patient’s mount and trachea.
This technique allows us to obtain real-time images in and around the lungs and to identify difficult-to-reach tumors. We can also use EBUS to biopsy a tissue or fluid sample from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes of the chest.
In some patients, EBUS is a less invasive alternative to conventional mediastinoscopy, a surgical procedure requiring a series of incisions in the chest under general anesthesia. Using EBUS, we can perform the same procedure using a very thin needle aspiration under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.