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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer care in New Orleans

A lung cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. That’s why our Cancer Center has a team of experts in thoracic and lung cancer standing by to help you navigate through your diagnosis and treatment.

With expert medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, oncology nurses, and pulmonary rehabilitation therapists, you’ll have the knowledge and support of a specialized team.

Our goal is to provide world-class lung cancer care through state-of-the-art diagnostics, individualized treatment plans, and oncology services.

Types of lung cancer we treat

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women worldwide. Lung cancer is categorized into two types:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer and has three main types, which are determined by the type of cells found in the tumor. They include the following:
    • Adenocarcinoma
    • Large-cell carcinoma
    • Squamous cell carcinomas
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): An aggressive form of cancer, most commonly caused by smoking. SCLC is often only discovered after it has spread extensively.

Symptoms of lung cancer

Diagnosing lung cancer requires screening by a medical professional; however, these are the most common symptoms:

  • A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Frequent lung infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing

Lung cancer screenings

Early stage lung cancer may have few or no symptoms, which is why those at higher risk should consider being screened for lung cancer. If you’re over 55 years old and are a current – or former – smoker, talk to your doctor about getting a low-dose CT lung screening.

Robotic bronchoscopy

We offer robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, a new technology allowing for earlier detection of lung cancer with greater accuracy. Prior to this innovative technology, nodule location and size combined with technology limitations made early stage diagnosis of lung cancer challenging. This minimally invasive procedure is safer than CT-guided lung biopsy and unlike a traditional bronchoscopy, the robotic platform gives the physician the ability to obtain tissue samples of small and hard-to-reach nodules in the lung to determine an accurate and timely diagnosis. The ability to diagnose these cancers at earlier and begin treatment promises to increase chances of survival.

Lung cancer treatment

Depending on the type and stage of your lung cancer, your oncologist may recommend various treatment options including radiation therapy and chemotherapy. We also offer pulmonary rehabilitation as part of recovery.

Our support team and programs

Our cancer support program is designed to assist you with the resources needed to manage and overcome challenges throughout your treatment journey.

Nurse navigators

Our Lung Nodule Program and Oncology Nurse navigators offer clinical expertise, guidance and support to improve the patients' care experience, assist physicians and achieve quality outcomes. The Lung Nodule Navigator assists patients when a lung nodule is detected during a diagnostic scan by coordinating appointments for further evaluation. If a nodule is non-cancerous, the Lung Nodule Navigator will continue to assist the patient throughout their care. If the patient has a confirmed cancer diagnosis, our Oncology Nurse Navigator assists and coordinates the cancer treatment and surveillance. Nurse navigation benefits our patients through:

  • Coordination of care, including office visits and appointment scheduling
  • Communication between all members of the healthcare team, including:
    • Medical oncologists
    • Radiation oncologists
    • Radiologists and pulmonologists
    • Thoracic surgeons
  • Family and caregiver support
  • Individualized education
  • Offering a consistent point of contact
  • Ongoing assessment of needs, including psychosocial, transportation and financial

Lung nodule program

Our lung nodule program provides prompt diagnosis and expedited care, with the goal of detecting lung nodules earlier, diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage and, ultimately, saving lives.

We are utilizing innovative technologies to detect suspicious lung nodules by analyzing CT exams for the presence of incidental lung nodules. If an incidental lung nodule is found, the nurse navigator contacts our physicians to discuss the patient's follow-up. The nurse navigator also coordinates the plan of care, provides clinical assistance and supports the patient and their family.

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