Full Spectrum of Care for Lung Cancer
Presbyterian-St.Luke’s comprehensive Lung Cancer Program offers the full array of screening, diagnosis and treatment in a multi-disciplinary approach with potential access to clinical research trials, all in the Heart of Denver.
Multi-disciplinary Care Team
Lung Cancer is a complex set of diseases that generally involves multiple medical experts and modes of treatment. Our program provides comprehensive, integrated care that goes well beyond just diagnosis and treatment. Our physicians meet regularly to discuss individual patient management, go over findings and recommend personalized therapies.
Our multidisciplinary team meets regularly to review each lung cancer case to develop a comprehensive plan of care. the team includes the following specialists:
Pulmonologists: These doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders. A pulmonologist is often the first doctor you will see when your primary doctor has a concern related to your lungs or your breathing. Pulmonologists bring technological expertise in exploring the lungs, taking samples of lung tissue for pathology, and diagnosing potential diseases, such as Lung Cancer.
Radiologists: When you have imaging studies, a highly skilled radiologist oversees the scans, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron-emission tomography (PET). These technologies provide more information about the tumor with the highest accuracy ever achieved. It is unlikely you will meet the radiologist, but findings from your imaging studies are rapidly communicated to doctors who will review the studies with you.
Thoracic Surgeons: This surgical specialist will evaluate your lung cancer diagnosis and determine if surgery to remove the tumor might be feasible. Surgery may be curative or combined with any of the other modes of treatment, depending on the stage of the Lung Cancer. There are risks and benefits to any surgical procedure. One common thoracic procedure is the: Video-assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS). In a VATS procedure, the surgeon inserts a scope and a small video camera into the chest which allows the viewing the surgical instruments that are being used. The surgeon may also take tissue samples for further analysis. This doctor is also called a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Pathologists: As a patient, you will not likely see the pathologists, but they will review your tissue sample(s), analyze the cellular structure of the sample, and provide diagnostic information to confirm the diagnosis and its staging. The confirmed diagnosis and staging is critical to determine the course of treatment.
Medical oncologist: A medical oncology doctor will work with you to explain the options and define the course of chemotherapy if needed. Often a medical oncologist works in a clinic setting, with a staff to deliver chemotherapy and provide support for side effects and symptom management.
Radiation oncologist: A radiation oncology doctor will meet with you to explain the options available and setup a treatment schedule. This doctor often works in a clinic setting, with a staff to administer the radiation treatment and provide support for side effects and symptom management.
Oncology Nurse Navigator: This oncology-certified nurse will act as a continual point-of- contact to guide you through your cancer treatment journey. The nurse navigator will assist you to identify barriers to treatment and connect you to the necessary resources. Resources include services such as nutrition consulting, transportation to appointments, counseling services, support groups, etc. The oncology nurse navigator will help educate and support you and your family.
For more information contact our Oncology Nurse Navigator:
Janet Bridges RN, BSN, OCN