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SA doctors detecting lung cancer earlier than ever

SAN ANTONIO – Doctors at Baptist Health South Texas Lung Institute are working together to increase survival rates of lung cancer.

Dr. Dan DeArmond said they’re detecting lung cancer earlier than ever before.

“What we like to do is catch the tumor when it’s just in the lung and hasn’t spread anywhere,” DeArmond said. “As we get into the 21st Century, we’re catching these tumors much smaller.”

DeArmond appeared on SA Live to discuss early diagnosis and minimally invasive treatments. He said the key to diagnosing lung cancer early is a full chest CT.

“A big study came out just a few years ago," he said. "It showed a very clear survival difference if people (who were heavy smokers) were screened with a CT scan of the chest.”

DeArmond specializes in a minimally invasive surgery for removing lung tumors. He said this surgery increases chances of survival.

“It’s less of an immune disturbance if you don’t have a big incision on your chest,” DeArmond said. “With traditional surgery, we spread the ribs, which causes a rib fracture. We don’t have to do that with this operation.”

He said recovery time for the minimally invasive surgery is much faster than the traditional approach.

“Instead of going home eight to 10 days after surgery, people go home two to three days after surgery,” DeArmond said.

For more information on Dearmond and his technique, visit www.BaptistHealthSystem.com or call 297-LUNG (5864).