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St. John’s Now Offers Innovative, Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Technology for Lung Cancer


Endobronchial Ultrasound Bronchoscopy (EBUS), now used to accurately assess and diagnose lung cancer

OXNARD, CA – (December 3, 2019) – St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a member of Dignity Health, is pleased to offer endobronchial ultrasound bronchoscopy (EBUS), a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose lung cancer, infections, and other inflammatory diseases.

When lung cancer first develops, it often presents itself in the lymph nodes before spreading outside the lungs. Traditionally, the procedure to biopsy the lungs is considered an inpatient surgical procedure. Now, using EBUS, physicians can achieve the same accurate results utilizing this minimally-invasive technique and best of all, in an outpatient setting. 

“Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death for men and women, outnumbering colon, breast and prostate cancers combined,” said Raj Bhatia, M.D. “EBUS allows us to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes in the chest without conventional surgery. The samples can be used to diagnose and stage lung cancer, infection and inflammatory disease in a timely manner.”

During the EBUS procedure, the patient is put to sleep using a general anesthesia. A bronchoscope is then inserted through the airway, transmitting high-quality images onto a large screen that allows the surgeon to see inside the trachea and bronchi. Once the lesion or enlarged lymph node is located, a small needle is inserted through the airway wall into the mass to take a biopsy. This is done multiple times so that enough tissue is collected and sent to a pathologist to assess whether there is cancer or another treatable disease.

With this minimally-invasive procedure, patients may return home that same day. A tentative diagnosis may be made during surgery; however, definitive diagnosis is typically received within two to three days. The patient might also experience few symptoms after the procedure that include a sore throat and coughing up a small amount of blood due to abrasion of the airway from the bronchoscope.

EBUS is among the cancer detection modalities offered at the St. John’s Lung Cancer Program. St. John’s Lung Cancer Program brings together a team of specially trained and local, physicians, surgeons, and nurses to work closely with patients throughout the entire journey. It is also part of our commitment to provide superior patient care, which is why we invest in new technologies that greatly enhance our ability to detect, diagnose and treat cancer. For questions about the program, please call 866.710.9848.

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About Dignity Health - St. John’s Regional Medical Center:

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard is a recipient of the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence (2012-2015) and is rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care for five consecutive years. St. John’s Regional Medical Center’s cardiac program offers effective treatment for heart disease as a STEMI Receiving Center, world-class clinical research trials, a certified primary stroke center, and recently became the first hospital in California to offer the world’s smallest leadless pacemaker for patients with bradycardia – slow heart rate. In addition, St. John’s was the first and only hospital in Ventura County to perform cryoablation, an innovative procedure to treat atrial fibrillation – a common heart rhythm disorder. St. John’s Cancer Program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers a lung cancer program recognized as the only Center of Excellence in Ventura County. The 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. John’s provides family centered care for newborns requiring highly specialized attention. Learn more about other classes, events and support groups.

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