Fabulous news ! Today I am positively overwhelmed by the extremely good news about a new program called the Rapid Autopilot Program implemented by a team of thoracic surgeons to speed up lung cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment at a local hospital. Here is a summary of the information about the thoracic surgeon, Dr. James Bond and his team, and the innovative program at the Surrey Memorial Hospital. Early lung cancer diagnosis can mean the difference between the cancer being self-contained (in a nodule, tumour) versus invasive or late stage and improve survival rates for this disease.
RAP Rapid Autopilot Program for early lung cancer diagnosis
- Anticipated wait times at this hospital are expected to be reduced from 190 days to 45 days
- Avoid unnecessary tests which cause further delays and waste health care funds
- Inoperable patients can be referred for chemotherapy and radiation treatments faster
- Simply ~ patients with abnormal or suspicious masses from lung x-rays, etc. are "fast tracked", bypassing the traditional avenues and the patient is sent for a pre-surgical PET scan or CT scan, and surgery if operable takes place within a month
Personal note :
The “patient” example in the news article could have been me as the lung cancer was discovered by "accident". I am so happy for those that follow who will benefit from reduced diagnostic time and all the stress which accompanies being diagnosed with lung cancer. Eight months to a year was spent waiting for referrals, tests and results, ultrasounds (this was a 6 month wait alone), hospital biopsies without conclusive diagnosis and specialist appointments before being referred to this office.
The diagnosis seemed immediate (compared with past experience) and after a PET scan with a lung cancer diagnosis, surgery followed shortly afterwards with the only drawback being that the cancer mass was “invasive”. It is one year since surgery and follow-up scan results have been "cancer free" during that time.
Huge kudos and congratulations to Dr. Bond and his great team for their empathy, compassion and understanding and hopefully this program will be expanded throughout all the Fraser Health hospitals in the valley. So many people are falling through the medical system "cracks" with lung cancer and this program is urgently needed as lung cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths.
Thank you for this timely program and for your care.
- Time is of the essence with early diagnosis of lung cancer before it can become invasive
- Food for Thought : If after an extended period of non diagnosis you move /switch doctors ~ the appointments, referrals and diagnosis time may start all over again for a variety of reasons
- Short term 5 year survival statistics for lung cancer surgery are 14%
- Reducing the amount of money spent on tests, biopsies and other appointments with inconclusive results is a huge positive reason for implementing this program system wide
- Surrey Memorial Hospital Thoracic Surgery and RAP
- Complete article written by Pamela Fayerman “Lung cancer project cuts wait time for treatment by up to 145 days”
- Caramel and Parsley PET scan article
- 2012 American Cancer Society statistics - again
Update: September 2015
Dr. Bond, Principal Investigator on Validation Studies for Patented Assays in Patients with Lung Cancer
“Simply put, a urine or blood test for lung cancer will save lives, will save time, and will save health care dollars. The need for such technologies cannot be overstated. This is an important study with far-reaching implications for lung cancer and other cancers as well,” ~ Dr. James Bond