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Ascension St. Vincent with new program for diagnosing, treating lung cancer



Indianapolis, Indiana – According to Dr. Vru Patel, a pulmonary physician at Ascension St. Vincent, “The earlier we diagnose something, the more chances to avoid surgery”.

Ascension St. Vincent is creating a new program that’s getting faster diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer. Ascension St. Vincent is the only place in Indiana using this robotic technology to diagnose and provide treatment to lung cancer patients.

Before Ascension’s lung nodule program, patients would undergo routine chest scans and be referred to specialists, which would delay diagnosis. Now, doctors utilize the new Lung Nodule Program to get patients quickly scheduled for robotic bronchoscopy. “Now we’re able to diagnose cancers basically [in] its infancies that we weren’t able to do before,” Dr. Patel said.

Patient Tony Patterson had never smoked a cigarette in his life and was shocked to learn he was diagnosed with lung cancer. “I’m grateful for their ability to do these things,” Patterson said. “It’s come a long way. Several of my friends have died of cancer. Two have had this procedure done and parts of their lungs removed. They do pretty well today so it beats the alternative.”

Patterson underwent the surgery and it was a success. He is now in remission. “I’m truly grateful it’s out of me,” he said. “I met with my oncologist and my scans showed I’m cancer free at this point. Originally had 7 percent chance of [getting] cancer so I should have bought a lottery ticket.”

Dr. Patel has helped more than 250 patients. “We’re using a robotic device that’s basically a tiny camera scope,” Dr. Patel said. “We’re able to access any point in the lung to do a biopsy to take off pieces of nodules to diagnose patients with lung cancer.”