Deborah’s Multi-Disciplinary Oncology Clinic Program, under the direction of Andrew Martin, MD, Chair, Pulmonary Medicine at Deborah, offers collaborative personalized outpatient appointments for case management with patients with tumors.
“Our team includes an Oncologist, Radiologist, Pulmonologist, Pathologist, Surgeon, Administrative Director, and other Ancillary Staff,” notes Deborah’s Chair of Pulmonary Medicine, Andrew Martin, MD. “This integrated approach offers us an opportunity to get the whole patient profile, allowing an efficient approach to the evaluation of lung tumors with state-of-the-art technology such as Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS). This tool, offering real-time images in and around the lungs, can be used for diagnosing and staging lung cancer, as well as detecting infections and identifying inflammatory diseases that affect the lung. Many lung tumors are not cancerous, but for those that are, we want to have as much information as early as possible, so a treatment plan can be created.”
“If a patient is found to have a non-cancerous tumor,” Martin notes, “the standard treatment plan includes close follow-up and monitoring. If cancer is detected and surgery is required, arrangements will be made quickly.”
“For chemotherapy or radiation, however, we will recommend a facility near a patient’s home, so they can return to their community for those treatments, with continual evaluations given by Deborah’s Multi-Disciplinary Oncology Team.”
Lung Cancer Screening for Smokers
If you smoke or smoked in the past, you may be at risk for lung cancer. Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Early detection is important to diagnose cancer so it can be treated. Lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan of the chest has been shown to be beneficial in high-risk patients.
Low-dose CT scans for current and former smokers who meet the criteria below are recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force and may be covered as part of routine screenings by Medicare.
Who Needs Lung Cancer Screening
Criteria per US Preventive Services Task Force Guidelines:
- You are 55 to 80 years old
- A current smoker or quit smoking less than 15 years ago
- Have a “30-pack-year” smoking history (1 pack/day for 30 years or 2 packs/day for 15 years, etc.)
Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening
You will be screened for lung cancer using a low-dose Computed Tomography (CT) scan. Having a lung cancer screening chest CT reduces the chance of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent for those at very high risk of developing lung cancer.
Screenings can find small spots/nodules in the lungs of at least 25 percent of all people who get the scan. Only three or four out of 100 lung nodules found are cancerous. The rest may be small scars which may never affect your health. CT scans are usually done over time to see if a lung nodule grows. You might need a biopsy based on the size of the lung nodule.
Many people who are screened for lung cancer will need to have further tests, without actually having lung cancer. The doctor who orders your screening test will talk with you about whether or not you need more tests.
Lung cancer screening CTs use a very small dose of radiation. The effects of radiation from lung cancer screenings are minimal.
If you smoke, you can cut your risk of dying from lung cancer by quitting. If you are interested, you can see one of our pulmonologists regarding options and our smoking cessation plan.
The doctor who orders your lung cancer screening will receive a report on the test. The doctor will share the results with you. If your test indicates an abnormality and you choose further evaluation at DEBORAH Heart and Lung Center, we provide a range of services, such as Bronchoscopy, Endobronchial Ultrasound Guided Biopsy, and VATS Guided Biopsy to further evaluate any abnormalities seen on the CT scan.
How to Schedule an Appointment
To obtain a screening, you must have a prescription. A prescription can be issued by your primary care physician or a Deborah physician. Call 609-621-2080 to schedule an appointment.