The BC Cancer Agency is currently enrolling people in a project called the Lung Health Study.
The focus of the study is the early detection of lung and bronchial cancer, and the identification of new agents that may halt or slow the growth of abnormal cells in these organs.
A chest x-ray or the examination of three or four sputum samples for malignant cells are traditional methods which may detect early cancer of the lung.
To be eligibile for the Lung Health Study, you must be:
- a former smoker
- between 45 and 74 years of age
- have smoked at least 30 years or more
The Lung Health Study uses a lung imaging fluorescence endoscope (LIFE), a light sensitive camera attached to a bronchoscope, to detect pre-cancerous areas and/or early lung cancers too small to detect on chest x-rays or by conventional bronchoscopy alone.
The LIFE system illuminates the airways with a blue laser light and a computer analyzes the images and displays them on a colour monitor. A physician can then differentiate abnormal areas, shown as red, from normal areas, shown as green.
Tiny tissue samples are taken from abnormal areas (for pathological confirmation of diagnosis). People who are discovered to have abnormalities will be invited to participate in a chemoprevention trial.