KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to the CDC, lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. However, it is the deadliest cancer for both men and women.

Kansas City doctors and their teams are working to change that number as much as possible, starting with veterans and constantly leveraging new technology to make faster and more accurate diagnoses.

According to the Kansas City Department of Veterans Affairs, less than 5% of people who need to be tested for lung cancer are currently tested for the disease.

So VA pulmonologist Dr. Andrea Covey wants to spread the word through new technology. Their decision to tackle the problem head-on paid off.

“We have an even greater responsibility to inform minority veterans and affected populations,” Covey said.

Not only does lung cancer kill more people each year than any other cancer, but there are also many myths about lung cancer. For example, Covey said 20% of people diagnosed have never smoked in their life.

“We look at family history, radon exposure, and all the other things that are known to be risk factors for lung cancer,” she said.

With the help of new technology and the hard work of Covey and her team, they are making progress.

“We take a CAT scan of someone's lungs and match it to the path through the lungs in the operating room,” Professor Covey said of the ION machine.

ION is a minimally invasive surgical tool that creates a map of a patient's lungs in real time.
Not only is it painless, doctors can detect cancers as small as 6 millimeters, allowing them to catch cancer earlier, which can improve future outcomes and save lives.

Covey and her team currently see more than 4,000 veterans each year.

“I've been in medicine for 20 years, and if you had asked me as a medical student if robots could be used to diagnose lung cancer patients, I would have laughed,” she said.

Since we started this program, we have not only been able to diagnose lung cancer more quickly, but we have also discovered 11 types of cancer while performing lung screening using this technology.

Covey says they're just as important as getting a mammogram or colonoscopy.

Covey, along with her team and veterans personnel, will be at the World War I Museum and Memorial from 2pm to 6pm on Thursday, and they would like you to be there too. Masu. It's free and open to the public and you can see all of this stuff and what they're doing.

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