Comprehensive lung cancer care
Patients in our cancer program are at the center of the treatment planning process and highly involved in decision-making regarding the direction it takes. Providing guidance and assistance is our comprehensive care team comprised of board-certified and fellowship-trained cancer specialists and surgeons, certified oncology nurses, and counselors who lend support for emotional, financial and community resource matters. The team also provides evidence-based treatment options and support from diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship.
Our oncology nurse navigator team
Standing left to right – Carol Clouthier, RN; Julie Wannow, RN; Angel Shaffer, RN; Britt Baertlein, RN
Seated left to right – Mary Gilbert, RN; Craig Gordon, RN; Michelle Willman, RN; Natalie Ebenhoch, RN
Oncology nurse navigator
Beginning at the time of cancer diagnosis, each patient is partnered with an oncology nurse navigator who becomes a single point of contact for their cancer journey.
Oncology nurse navigators work closely with patients’ physicians and the entire cancer care team to empower patients and support their needs. Nurse navigators actively partner with patients and their families to listen and address their needs with care and compassion. They provide information and education on cancer diagnoses and treatment options, and offer psychosocial support to help manage stress and anxiety. Oncology nurse navigators also act as advocates to help remove barriers to care and assure care transitions are timely and well-coordinated. They engage patients in care planning and self-care to promote optimal health throughout the cancer journey and beyond.
Surgery on the lungs requires a specialist with dedicated training and expertise. A thoracic surgeon is a physician who specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases of the lungs and chest. Our surgeons are trained in the latest minimally invasive techniques using state-of-the-art technology including robotic-assisted surgery.
A radiation oncologist uses radiation to treat cancer. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy) or from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells such as brachytherapy, a type of treatment in which radioactive seeds are placed directly into or near a tumor. CyberKnife®, a highly specialized technology, is also used by radiation oncologists to aim highly concentrated beams of radiation at tumors with pinpoint accuracy.
This physician uses imaging technology such as computer tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound to guide the delivery of treatment to the targeted area. Interventional radiologists also use imaging technology to complete biopsies.
A medical oncologist treats patients with drugs, such as chemotherapy, biologic therapies, immunotherapy, and personalized targeted therapy, all aimed at destroying cancer cells.
A pulmonologist, or pulmonary disease specialist, is a physician who possesses specialized knowledge and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases. Patients are often referred to a pulmonologist by their primary care physician when symptoms or test results indicate a potential lung cancer risk.
The pathologist is not a physician that patients typically encounter personally during treatment. The pathologist is the physician who specializes in identifying the classification and stage of cancer. This is important in that it helps determine the appropriate therapies for treatment.
Depending on a patient’s individual situation, it is possible that doctors who specialize in other areas may contribute as well, including doctors who provide pain management.
Other supportive care
A multi-disciplinary team of specially trained cancer rehab therapists is available to evaluate patient needs including gait stability, strengthening exercises, weakness and speech deficits. Based on the evaluation a treatment plan is developed to minimize the effects of cancer treatment and help restore these functions.
Our social workers lend support for emotional, financial and community resource needs of patients during and after cancer treatment.
A certified dietitian will evaluate nutritional needs and develop a personal plan of care to support patient needs during treatment and into survivorship care.
Our board-certified genetic counselors facilitate cancer risk assessments and genetic cancer testing and will provide consultation and support in helping patients understand and manage cancer risk.