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Florida lung cancer patient undergoes robotic surgery | News

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Florida lung cancer patient undergoes robotic surgery

Tampa, Florida -- It's the leading cause of death in the U.S., but lung cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. In fact, surgeons are going high tech to tackle some of the worst cancers.

One Florida woman isn't a smoker, but was exposed to second-hand smoke. Facing the most advanced lung cancer, she turned to Moffitt Cancer Center for help.

In sickness and in health. Alicia Soler and her husband made their vows more than three decades ago. And this year, they've been put to the test.

"I had four brain tumors. They also found the primary tumor in my lung, and I was diagnosed with nonso cell lung cancer carcinoma stage four," Alicia said.

This Thanksgiving, the 57-year-old grandmother is thankful to be getting out of the hospital and getting home to family after undergoing robotic surgery on her lung. The results immediately gave Alicia energy, and she's breathing easier.

"I was operated on Thursday, and Friday morning I was singing Amazing Grace" Alicia told 10 News.

In the operating room,  the 3-D display makes it easier for Moffitt Cancer Center's Doctor Eric Toloza to see where to cut, and the robotic instruments help take out tumors with small incisions in hard to reach areas.

"Her lung cancer was less than six centimeters, and it was away from the hilum of the lung where the lung is connected to the heart and the airway, so it allows us to remove the lung through a minimally invasive approach," Dr. Toloza said.

Alicia wants to give hope to other cancer patients- especially those with the most advanced cases. She's relied on her humor to help her through nicknaming her cancer 'Noduline'.

"He's gone, he wasn't paying rent and he was never invited so he's gone and all his friends in remote locations are gone as well. So, I'm really looking at life and family and friends- life overall- with a really different outlook," Alicia said.

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