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Lung cancer

Treating the individual

Our multidisciplinary approach means each treatment is tailored to the individual. We can quickly address specific needs to streamline the process and impact long-term survival. We also tackle the difficult problem of tobacco addiction, a key step in ensuring success. Additionally, the hospital’s well-established pulmonary rehabilitation program helps with postoperative respiratory issues.

Our team approach

Our team features a multidisciplinary team of board-certified physicians with unique expertise in treating both the most common and the most complex lung problems. Patients with a suspicious lung nodule or mass are seen rapidly and evaluated by multiple specialties—all on the same day. We can then schedule and perform the optimal treatment here at Liberty Hospital. That means no more driving around from one office to another, and no more hassle of scheduling numerous appointments across many days or weeks.

"In many surgical fields, the surgeon only intervenes after the diagnosis has already been made and treatment options have been discussed. However, oncology is one of those fields of surgery where the surgeon is an integral part of the patient’s team. Even more so, in lung cancer, the surgeon can be involved in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment as well as the follow-up and prevention. To me this was what it means to be a doctor." – Michael Gibson, M.D., FACS, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Treatment

Lung cancer causes almost 25% of all deaths from cancer, and the overall survival for lung cancer is less than 15% at the time of diagnosis. Because of this, identifying tumors as early as possible is paramount. Our specialists quickly can evaluate suspicious areas on an x-ray and provide the appropriate treatment.

Surgical treatment

Liberty Hospital offers a trained surgical team for robotic lung surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System. Benefits of this minimally invasive surgery include reduced chest tube duration, lower risk of complications and wound infections, less blood loss, less pain and shorter hospital stay.

Robotic patients leave the hospital sooner with less pain and return to work or chemotherapy sessions sooner as compared to open-surgery patients. The outcomes are better than standard open procedures, and there is much less trauma to the body. Robotic surgery is associated with a 70% lower risk of overall post-op complications.

Nonsurgical treatment

Radiofrequency Ablation

RFA is the use of high frequency electrical current to heat certain tissue to temperatures high enough to destroy malignant cells. These treatments can be pinpointed to a precise area while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.

Chemotherapy

The Saint Luke's Cancer Institute at Liberty Hospital features individual cubicles for chemotherapy treatments, including a recliner and personal television with available DVD players. Plus, the area also features a nourishment center stocked with light snacks and drinks for patients experiencing a lengthy treatment.

Radiation oncology

We offer the full spectrum of services, including stereotactic radiation therapy, image-guided treatment delivery, 4-D CT image simulation, and 3-D conformal and intensity modulate radiation therapy.

Lung cancer screening FAQ

What is a CT lung cancer screen and how is it performed?

A CT lung cancer screen is a low-dose scan that can detect lung cancer in its earliest stages when it is easiest to treat. CT lung cancer screens are easy—no medications, needles or food restrictions are required. You must, however, be able to hold your breath for about 10 seconds. Patients simply lie down, place their hands over their head and are slipped in and out of the CT tunnel. The actual scan takes less than 10 seconds.

What are the risks?

Radiation exposure: Each day, we are exposed to background or natural occurring radiation. For patients who are high risk for developing lung cancer, the benefits of having a CT lung cancer screen far outweigh the risks associated with the small amount of radiation exposure.

False negatives: Low-dose CT cannot detect all lung cancers. It is possible to have a lung cancer that is not detected during the CT screen.

False positives: CT scans are very sensitive. They can identify pulmonary nodules that may look suspicious but are actually benign, or noncancerous. Depending on the size and appearance of the nodule, follow up CTs may be recommended to monitor changes in nodule size, or an invasive procedure, such as a needle biopsy, bronchoscopy or surgery, may be recommended to determine if the nodule is actually cancerous.

What are the possible results of my CT lung cancer screening?

The purpose of performing a CT lung cancer screen is to identify pulmonary (lung) nodules. Lung nodules are quite common and may develop for many reasons, such as inflammation, infection, scar tissue, abnormal tissue formation, blood vessel abnormalities, primary lung cancer or cancer from other areas of the body.

  • Nodules will be found on approximately 50% of CT chest scans of smokers over the age of 50, but the vast majority of these lung nodules are noncancerous.
  • Findings: If no identifiable nodules are found, the exam is considered negative. If the scan identifies a nodule, additional tests may be ordered.
  • Incidental findings: A CT of the lungs covers from the top of the chest to just below the diaphragm. Beside the lungs, there are other organs, soft tissue and bone structures that will be imaged. An incidental finding is the discovery of a pathology or disease process other than a pulmonary nodule. Some common incidental findings include an enlarged heart, hiatal hernia or pneumonia. Incidental findings may require a follow-up appointment with your physician.

Who is eligible?

Patients must:

  • Have a written order for Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) from a qualified health professional following a lung cancer screening counseling that attests to shared decision-making having taken place before the first screening CT.
  • Be age 55 to 77.
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.
  • Tobacco history of at least one pack a day for 30 years (cigarettes only).
  • Be a current smoker or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

If you are interested in scheduling a Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening, please contact your physician. For additional questions, contact Liberty Hospital Scheduling Department at 816.792.7016.

Should I screen?

Take this lung cancer screening quiz to help determine whether or not you should be screened for lung cancer.