FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer claims more than 130,000 lives nationwide every year.
Dr. Abhishek Biswas, Parkview Health’s director of interventional pulmonology, believes lung cancer has the second or third highest deaths among common types of cancers. One of the main reasons why lung cancer deaths are common is because they are diagnosed at an advanced stage.
“The unfortunate part about lung cancer is it’s a silent killer,” Dr. Biswas said. “There’s a huge iceberg phenomenon. What you see on the top is nothing representative of what you see under the water.”
In the past, detecting early-stage lung cancer has been difficult because of the size of nodules, or spots that become cancerous. Dr. Biswas says they can range from the size of a quarter to a dime. In the past, using traditional procedures like a CT-guided lung biopsy to access these nodules could create further health complications like a collapsed lung.
Thanks to MONARCH, a platform approved by the FDA in 2018, detecting early-stage lung cancer has become much simpler.
“It creates a three dimensional roadmap to reach those hard to reach nodules,” Dr. Biswas said. “The earlier the stage we catch the patients at, the outcomes are better.”
Since accessing MONARCH 11 months ago, Parkview Health has performed about 100 biopsies using the technology, according to a spokesperson. Thanks to this technology, Parkview Health pulmonologists have been able to diagnose early-stage lung cancer and give patients hope that this could be cured.
Dr. Biswas also shares advice for patients who could be considered a high risk for developing lung cancer, such as smokers. Watch below for his advice:
Dr. Biswas hopes that MONARCH could be used to detect other forms of cancer. While it has not been FDA-approved, MONARCH is being used in trial phases to diagnose patients for prostrate cancer.
“I think there’s plenty of scope for multiple specialties to use this technology.”