New treatments for lung cancer

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - "Once they said I have cancer, my first thought was, get it out! Take it out! Plain out," exclaimed cancer patient Albert Byrd.

After several tests, Veteran and Edgefield County native Albert Byrd was diagnosed with lung cancer.

He recalled, "Terrified. Oh, I was terrified."

Byrd had surgery almost 2 weeks ago to remove cancer from his lung. While his journey is just beginning, there are many new lung cancer treatment options at the Georgia Cancer Center like the lung cancer screening program.

"People who smoked already they are able to come and have their scans so that they can detect the cancer early on in the lung and that will lead to cure rather than you know, having it spread all over their body," said Dr. Nagla Abdel Karim.

Dr. Karim is apart of a team of doctors specializing in thoracic oncology. She is studying clinical trials concerning the drug Cabozantinib, a cancer growth blocker, in patients.

"We are offering the combination of the chemo and that targeted treatment together to find out if that would be better than the standard of care in the eligible patient population with lung cancer," explained Dr. Karim.

If a patient gets surgery like Byrd, doctors can take a sample of that patient's tissue to ensure success.

"We still need to asses them to make sure that if there are microscopic cells that went outside, we have to give further treatment," said Dr. Karim.

So far, the treatments have been well.

Dr. Karim said, "They are enjoying quality of life with newer treatment options that have less side effects compared to the past."

Overall, Dr. Karim says she wants patients to have a better life while Byrd gives words of encouragement.

He said, "Take one day at a time, trust your doctor and try to not worry until you know what's exactly going on."

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