Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer in American killing more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Early detection and personalized treatment are important tools in the fight against lung cancer.
The Right Time and the Right Tools to Fight Lung Cancer
Developing an effective treatment plan for lung cancer involves input from a variety of physicians and other specialists. At Franciscan Health, we bring together a team of leading cancer experts in pulmonology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, cardiothoracic surgery, pathology, radiology and many others. Together, they design personalized treatment plans for every patient using the most innovative and advanced lung cancer treatments available today.
We have also streamlined the process for patients and their families. At our lung clinics, we bring our nationally recognized team of physicians to you. Patients see the entire team in one visit and in one convenient location, saving them several weeks of waiting and traveling to multiple office appointments and locations. This approach ensures the best possible treatment plan is designed quickly in partnership with the patient and his or her family.
What makes lung cancer care at Franciscan Health different?
- Dedicated surgeons who specialize in lung cancer surgery
- The latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies
- Access to extensive clinical research trials
- A full range of lung health services offered in convenient, comforting locations
Symptoms of lung cancer
Most lung cancers are first diagnosed based on symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms often don’t occur until the disease is in a late stage when treatment options are limited. Symptoms of lung cancer are not very specific and generally reflect damage to the lungs’ ability to function normally. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
- Persistent, worsening cough that will not go away
- Spitting up small amounts of blood
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Changes in the voice or being hoarse
- Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
Advanced lung cancer screening techniques
CT (computed tomography) guided biopsies are used to test for cancer or infection. CT scan imaging guides where the needle is placed, during which the patient will need to lie still for about 30-60 minutes.
An innovative technology called Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) can diagnose lung cancers earlier. This GPS-like technology navigates far into the lungs to sample suspicious lung lesions and lymph nodes without invasive surgery.
Annual lung cancer screenings can find cancer in its earliest stage, when up to 90 percent can be cured. Franciscan Health provides early detection screening to help increase the chance of surviving from lung cancer.
Pleuroscopy, also called thoracoscopy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to biopsy the pleural space, around the lungs.
Franciscan Health utilizes The da Vinci Surgical System for robotic-assisted surgeries. The da Vinci Surgical System puts a surgeon's hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic surgery tool. The result is one of the most effective, least invasive surgical treatments available.
Ultrasound guided biopsies use ultrasound imaging to guide needle placement to test for cancer or infection. This is most often used for testing breast tissue and abdominal organs.
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest.
Innovative treatment options
Cancer nurse navigators supports our patients and their families. The navigator helps guide patients on a one-on-one basis along the path from diagnosis through treatment. The lung nurse navigator serves as the point person for the lung clinic team, reviewing the patient’s history and making appropriate appointments based on the patient’s needs and the team’s treatment plan.