Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for men and women. Unfortunately, it's also the number one cause of cancer deaths in men and women. These disturbing statistics are why new approaches to the disease are so important.
"At Rush, we are doing some exciting work, with research and with surgical practice, that is making a difference for people with lung cancer," says Michael J. Liptay, MD, chief of thoracic surgery at Rush. "I feel honored to be able to participate in these advances."
One advance is minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer. A small incision in the chest wall allows the surgical team to insert a scope equipped with a tiny camera into the chest cavity (or thoracic area). This video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) helps patient get back on their feet sooner and with less pain than surgery that opens the chest and spreads the ribs.
"We've transformed lung surgery using these minimally invasive techniques," says Liptay. "My patients are always surprised by how quickly they bounce back. It just makes sense — it's less of a shock to the system."
The early recovery from VATS also allows for quicker follow-up treatment for those patients that will benefit from it. A patient can be ready for chemotherapy or radiation therapy much quicker than after more traditional surgery.
VATS can also be used to drain fluid on the lungs, diagnosis lung disease or to remove benign growths.
"We're also beginning a project to research how we can use blood tests to determine if a patient has lung cancer and how advanced the cancer is," says Liptay. "This is exciting work and may lead to much earlier detection and intervention.
"Another area for further research is looking at the gene profiles of tumors, which may allow us to customize therapy to the particular type of cancer an individual has," says Liptay. "This research may also pave the way for delivering treatment directly to the cancer cells using technology that recognizes the cancer's unique genetic signature."
Dr. Liptay will be speaking more about advances in lung cancer treatment at Rush on Saturday, January 19. He will be joined by his colleagues, Philip D. Bonomi, MD, and Thomas W. Zusag, MD. The program begins at 9:00 a.m. in Room 994 of the Armour Academic Center on the Rush campus. There will be a question and answer period following each doctor's presentation.
Phone (888) 352-RUSH (7874) for more information or to register for this event. You can also use the registration request form to register online.
More Information at Your Fingertips:
- For more information about lung surgery at Rush visit our Thoracic Surgery home page.
- For more information about cancer care at Rush visit our Cancer Programs home page.
- For more information about complementary care to support you during cancer treatment, visit our Cancer Integrative Medicine Program home page.
- Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (7874)
Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.
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