Saving Lives Using GPS Technology

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Every year, thousands of people suffer from the devastating affects of lung cancer. Countless families lose loved ones to this horrendous disease all too often. New research has suggested that in the near future there will be a safe and less invasive technique to remove the cancer. Doctors from a Hospital in Melbourne, Australia have begun trial runs using a new GPS guided device to eliminate the threat of lung cancer. This new technology allows patients of this type of cancer to have curative treatment without the need for surgery or the removal of important body tissues. It is the hope of every physician involved that this new GPS equipment will help cure lung cancer patients faster and with less invasive techniques.

 

The process of removing the cancer in this way is actually quite simple. The physicians first use a CT scan to create a kind of “road map” of the lung in the patient. Then, using a GPS-guided bronchoscope, the doctors are able to insert and strategically place 2 centimeter-long gold rods into the patient’s tumor. Each of these gold rods will serve as a type of beacon and allow the doctors to pinpoint the cancer and use a stronger and more localized type of treatment called, stereotactic radiotherapy. One of the patients involved in one of the doctor’s first trials runs seems hopeful and the results look promising. She had already had a portion of her lung and two ribs removed from a previous bout with cancer, but this new technology could potentially save not only the possibility of having to remove more body tissues or another rib, but more importantly, her life.

 

After all the tests have been run, it is the hope of both the patient’s from the trial runs and the doctors involved that this type of treatment will reduce the amount of visits and doses of radiotherapy that a patient must endure. Doctors predict that they may be able to give a simple amount of four doses of the intense stereotactic radiotherapy over two weeks instead of the standard 33 doses over a span of two months. In the near future, they anticipate that this new GPS technology will save many lives from the damaging effects of lung cancer.

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Janice Grover

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