Our comprehensive program offers the expertise of rare specialists in pulmonary pathology and thoracics -- only found at highly competent hospitals. The Leavey Cancer Center lung cancer team is comprised of specialists in medical and radiation oncology, surgery, thoracics, pulmonary pathology, pulmonary medicine and smoking cessation.
This team approach for diagnosis and treatment allows patients to benefit from the expertise of several specialized physicians. Smoking is responsible for 87 percent of all lung cancer cases in the United States. Eliminating tobacco use is key to reducing the impact of this disease.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. There are 2 types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Lung cancer is fairly rare in people under the age of 45.
Early Detection Leads to Promising Outcomes
Most lung tumors are detected by an X-ray or CT scan of the abdomen or chest. Determining the precise stage of your lung cancer is critical to planning the most effective treatment.
PET/CT provides better accuracy for determining the stage of lung cancer than PET or CT alone.
Chest X-ray is a common way to detect lung cancer early.
Sputum cytology is a procedure in which a sample of sputum (mucus) is brought up from an autofluorescence bronchoscopy and is examined to detect early invasive cancers not seen with standard X-rays.
Recently, a new X-ray method called spiral CT scanning has shown some promise in finding early lung cancer in smokers and former smokers.
Progressive Treatment Options
Molecular Diagnostic testing is available for lung tumor sites. Molecular profiling tests for a variety of biomarkers in the DNA of a tissue sample to help us better diagnose, stage and treat cancer on an individualized basis.
Our surgical team is dedicated to providing our patients with a complete range of options best suited to their individual needs. After undergoing surgery many patients receive radiation therapy to stop the growth of undetected cancer cells. Radiation reduces the chance of recurrence.
This combination of surgery and radiation therapy has long been considered the safe and effective alternative to complete removal of an organ. A treatment plan may involve minimally-invasive thoracic surgery, general thoracic surgery or stereotactic surgery. For non-small cell lung cancers that have not spread beyond the lung, surgery is the most common treatment.
Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery
Minimally-invasive approach allowing the surgeon to operate with robotic assistance through small openings in the ribs while viewing internal organs on a television monitor. This procedure is currently available in only selected US hospitals, including Northridge Hospital.
Placement of expandable metal stents to improve pulmonary function for patients with malignant airway obstructions.
Advanced Radiation Technology
The Harold and Carole Pump Department of Radiation Oncology offers advanced treatments:
Trilogy© Linear Accelerator Stereotactic System for image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) - the world's premier image-guided system that is capable of delivering all forms of external beam radiation including IMRT.
It can treat cancer anywhere in the body without a single cut by precisely targeting tumors and delivering a higher does of radiation, resulting in fewer treatment sessions. State-of-the-art motion management techniques allow doctors to coordinate treatment with a patient's breathing patterns to improve the accuracy of radiation treatment for lung cancer patients.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) - An alternative non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatment for carefully selected patients using heat to treat tumors.
Using high-energy radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal tissues, this very potent and precise technique obliterates soft tissue tumors while minimizing damage of surrounding tissue. A thin, needle-like probe is guided into the tumor by ultrasound or CT scan. The probe releases a high-frequency current that heats and destroys cancer cells.
We offer the most advanced methods of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy treatment. Our patients are given a comfortable, supportive setting while receiving intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) or oral medication. In addition, we offer personalized care, including nutritional recommendations and help for patients to look and feel their best with specialized beauty tips and meditation techniques.
The newly expanded Cancer Center offers an open and flexible chemotherapy area that includes comfortable lounge chairs for patients and family, and a choice of infusion suites equipped with an individual television with headset, DVD players, iPod, and Wi-Fi for laptop access.
Imaging is often used to determine the stage of the cancer or the tumor's exact location in order to make treatment decisions. We have invested in advanced imaging technology and expanded our capabilities to include highly-trained subspecialty radiologists for quick and definitive diagnoses.
Groundbreaking medical advances are the result of new ideas and approaches developed through clinical research. Northridge Hospital Medical Center remains on the forefront of the latest research developments by offering participation in clinical research. For information on cancer trials we are currently conducting, please call our Cancer Research Department at (818) 885-5458.
Dedicated to boosting cancer awareness in our community, the Leavey Cancer Center educates community members on smoking cessation and partners with the American Cancer Society for community events.