Health News Articles

New Technology: Diagnosing and Staging Cancer

May 5, 2014
Diagnosing cancer is the first step toward treatment, and advanced technology is crucial to this process. John Heim, MD (pictured), a thoracic surgeon at University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP), is using the Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) for diagnosing and staging lung and bronchial cancers. 

Minimally Invasive Testing
EBUS uses a miniaturized ultrasound probe in a specially designed bronchoscope, so that the physician can move the probe within the airway to get ultrasound images of the surrounding area. With this approach, the doctor can have a complete, real-time view of the structure of the lesion—its size, shape and location—before performing the needle aspiration and sending the sample off for testing. EBUS was invented to help ensure patients have cancer staged accurately in a minimally invasive fashion. 

Moving Into Treatment
Diagnosing and staging cancer is an important part of determining a patient’s treatment plan. Dr. Heim, who is board certified in general and thoracic surgery, notes that lung cancers are often not found until later stages, so accuracy and speed in staging is crucial. With advanced, up-to-date technologies such as EBUS, the staging process is faster and more accurate, allowing doctor and patient to move ahead with treatment. 

EBUS is an outpatient procedure. UMCP has state-of-the-art operating rooms with advanced imaging that allows for accurate and safe biopsy of patients. With EBUS, patients can receive their treatment and head home to rest the same day. 

For more information on diagnosing lung and bronchial cancer or to find a thoracic surgeon affiliated with Princeton Medicine, call 1.800.FIND.A.DR (1.800.346.3237) or visit