Thoracic Center of Excellence

Thoracic Center of Excellence

Committed to providing state-of-the-science compassionate care to patients with lung cancer and their families, our Thoracic Center of Excellence, located at Memorial Hospital, offers a multidisciplinary team approach to diagnosis, treatment planning, surgical intervention and recovery in a holistic manner. The good news is patients no longer need to leave their community to get the best and most advanced care available in the fight against lung cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment
We know that the sooner you find lung cancer and begin treatment, the better the outcome. Memorial offers a lung cancer screening program through primary care physicians to help detect lung cancer early. Other diagnostic tools include respiratory testing, CT and PET scans, and lung biopsies. Patients may begin treatment within a week of being seen.

Cases are reviewed in team conferences by numerous specialists, including surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonary specialists, pathologists and radiologists. Our team uses their expertise to recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.

At Memorial, surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive lung surgery (or thoracoscopy) surgically remove tumors with techniques used by a limited number of surgeons in the United States. Many patients are able to return home from the hospital in one day.

In some instances, surgery is not an option. New nonsurgical technologies include radiofrequency and microwave ablation, in which a needle inserted into the tumor heats and kills the cancer cells while not harming healthy surrounding tissue. In photodynamic therapy, a specialized light source is shone directly on cancer cells, burning them away.

Memorial offers several pulmonary rehabilitation opportunities for lung cancer patients. “Healthy Lung Express” is a quick lung tune-up, often in preparation for surgery, while more intensive pulmonary rehab is recommended after surgery and includes exercise, education and nutrition counseling.

Through Memorial’s Centers for Cancer Support, a team of nurses, educators, dietitians, chaplains and social workers offer additional free services to all cancer patients and their families. Call (423) 495-7778 for more information on cancer support services.

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