South East Wales

Lung cancer: Cardiff Uni 'revolutionary' training

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Media captionA flexible bronchoscope tube is sent down the patient's nose and into the windpipe.

Doctors are being trained in south Wales in a "revolutionary" procedure to analyse lung cancer tumours.

A tube is inserted into the airways of the lungs to provide images, allowing doctors to visualise the tumour and decide how to treat the patient.

The Cardiff University course, taught at Llandough Hospital in the Vale of Glamorgan, is the first of its kind in Wales.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

It accounts for 6% of all deaths.

The first course, which took place on Tuesday, was run by Dr Robin Ghosal, consultant respiratory physician at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

He said the procedure, called endobronchial ultrasound, had "revolutionised the way we approach diagnosing lung cancer patients".

"It allows for both the diagnosis of more complex, difficult to reach tumours, as well as how far the cancer has spread within the chest, all in a 45-minute procedure," he said.

'Particularly exciting'

"This helps ensure that patients can get the most suitable treatment sooner which is so important for them at such a difficult time."

A flexible bronchoscope tube is sent down the patient's nose and into the windpipe.

A small camera films the journey, and a probe at the end of the camera sends images to an ultrasound monitor.

This enables the doctor to monitor the lymph glands that sit at the centre of the chest and can allow a sample of the glands to be taken.

The procedure, described as low cost, allows doctors to determine the best course of treatment for patients without the need for more invasive surgery.

"This is particularly exciting to have consultants from all over Wales, in a wide variety of specialities, teaching on the course," said Dr Ghosal.

Doctors from around the UK attended.

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