BAY COUNTY, Fla. - November is lung cancer awareness month. Each year, 200,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.
Here in Bay County, we have technology to help patients not available in nearby counties.
Since 1987, lung cancer has killed more Americans than any other cancer.
"Many people don't realize that," Dr. Alex Jones, a general surgeon, said.
Family history, smoking, exposure to second hand smoke and other air pollutants like asbestos, increase your risk.
Some surgeons are saying 'goodbye' to radiation and large incisions, and 'hello' to a robotic procedure called the Da Vinci Surgical System.
"Robotics has changed the game as far as surgical outcomes," Jones said.
In the six years he's been performing the robotic surgeries, Jones has a 100 percent success rate operating on lung cancer patients in stages one and two.
"I've looked back at the data and nobody else in the country can beat those outcomes," he said.
That's why dedicating November to awareness can lead to a person's choice to get screened.
"[We can] pick up on lung cancer before patients develop symptoms, thus they would be at an early stage, and potentially curable from a surgical standpoint," Jones said.
There's good news for people who want to get healthy and get back to work.
"Patients are now getting out of the hospital in a day or two versus a six to seven day say. They can get right back to work."
Dr. Jones' office is located at: 2407 Ruth Hentz Ave, Panama City, FL 32405 or you can call (850) 522-5022 for more information or schedule a screening.
For more information on harmful asbestos, you can visit: https://www.maacenter.org/asbestos/
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