DIAGNOSING people with suspected lung cancer will become faster and easier at Morriston Hospital where a six-figure investment is being made.
Abertawe Bro Morganwwg Health Board has bought two new specialist machines will speed up the process for clinicians and help reduce stress and anxiety for patients.
They will also improve clinical outcomes and ease pressure on hospitals by reducing inpatient admissions — allowing surgeons to spend more time on major operations.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women, and in Swansea alone there are 200 new cases diagnosed every year.
It kills more people in Wales than any other kind of cancer.
Dr Emrys Evans, consultant respiratory physician said: "It's a minimally invasive diagnostic test which can not only diagnose cancer but other non-cancer lung diseases such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis.
"It's a straightforward day case procedure. The patient comes to the endoscopy department for a few hours."
The first machine, an endo bronchial ultrasound (EBUS) scanner is already in place in Morriston and the first weekly session will be held on April 23.
The second piece of equipment is a medical thoracoscope, which will help clinicians to diagnose and manage pleural effusion, a condition where fluid collects next to the lung.
This procedure will be introduced later in the year.
The investment of £299,000 from the Welsh Government's Health Technology Fund will benefit patients from Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, who currently have to travel to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen or undergo a surgical procedure under general anaesthetic.