Attorney fights cancer with micro lung coil

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and surprisingly, as many as 20 percent of people who die from lung cancer have never used tobacco.

Criminal defense attorney David Sherman sees plenty of challenging cases, but a case of lung cancer is one he never expected to face.

“I never even touched a cigarette in my life except to pick up cigarette butts that others have thrown on the floor,” Sherman said.

During a routine check-up, Sherman’s doctor flagged a nagging cough and sent him for testing.

“They found three tumors in my lungs,” he said. “I wanted to know if I’ve got cancer, and if I did, I want to get it out of me before it spreads.”

So, Sherman took his fight from the court room, to the operating room.

During surgery, while he was under anesthesia, doctors at Cleveland Clinic inserted a ‘lung coil’ to mark suspicious nodules.

One end of the coil was placed on each side of the nodule to help guide the surgeon, then a specialized scan was used, allowing for extreme precision.

“We can actually, in the operating room, perform an X-ray and see exactly where that coil is and take out the nodule by taking out the coil,” said Daniel Raymond, M.D., a thoracic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic.

Surgeons are now able to save lung tissue that would have otherwise been removed along with the tumor.

“Rather than cutting out an entire lobe, or potentially even an entire lung, we can just take out a small bit of tissue and that leaves them with a lot more function,” said Jason Lempel, M.D., a thoracic radiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

Sherman’s doctor said he has a 90 percent chance of being cured. Right now, he’s breathing easy and loving life.

“They asked Tina Turner once, ‘When are you going to slow down?’ and she said, ‘Slow down? I’m just getting started!’, well guess what? I’m just getting started too,” Sherman said.

Doctors encourage people who have been diagnosed with a lung nodule to seek care with an experienced medical team that regularly manages lung cancer patients, because early diagnosis and treatment is the key to saving lives.