If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with lung cancer, you can have confidence in the care provided through the Sentara Cancer Network. We provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment options for patients, and our multi-disciplinary team approach brings together fellowship trained specialists in thoracic surgery, pulmonology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and pathology – all collaborating to design a care plan that is personalized to your needs.
Every step of the way, you can rely on these experienced professionals to guide you through what comes next. Your team will offer resources, advice and will be there to answer any questions you may have. As you battle cancer, you won’t be alone in your fight.
Treatment may include:
Sentara Cancer Network’s thoracic surgery team offers some of the most innovative surgery techniques available in the nation. Advanced instrumentation and video surgery technology make minimally invasive surgery options possible for many lung cancer patients. For example, Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)–an innovative, minimally-invasive surgical procedure of the chest that is performed with a thoracoscope (a small video-scope) using small incisions. Surgeons can more easily remove masses close to the outside edges of the lung and test them for cancer, requiring a much smaller surgery than in the past.
Sentara Cancer Network’s thoracic surgeons can also use open surgery techniques to remove the tissue that contains the tumor and potentially nearby lymph nodes. Sentara Cancer Network nurses, respiratory therapists and other specialists work closely with patients, teaching techniques for successful recovery after surgery.
Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells and can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill depending on which drug is used. Targeted therapy, a type of chemotherapy, uses drugs to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. Some people with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread receive targeted therapy.
Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer, as well as offer relief from some of the symptoms of cancer. It may be used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. External radiation, which comes from a large machine outside the body, is the most common type of radiation therapy for lung cancer. CyberKnife® and brachytherapy/radioactive seed implant therapy are two types of radiotherapy often used in the treatment of lung cancer patients.
Whenever possible, Sentara Cancer Network physicians offer patients the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. Clinical trials offer patients many benefits. In addition to contributing to medical research, clinical trial participants gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available.
Palliative therapy is care given to improve the quality of life for patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat symptoms of disease, side effects caused by treatment, and psychological, social and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. The multidisciplinary treatment team that provides palliative care includes medical doctors, nurse practitioners and licensed clinical social workers.
In addition to ensuring our patients are seamlessly transitioned back to their primary care team for ongoing care, regular check-ups, which may include physical exams, blood tests and CT scans, are provided after lung cancer treatment. Check-ups help ensure that any health changes are monitored and treated, if necessary. Patients stay in close communication with their doctors if they experience any problems between check-ups.