Effective Evaluation & Advanced Care for Thoracic Cancers
Whether you've recently been diagnosed with lung cancer or another thoracic malignancy or referred to our program for a lung nodule assessment, you're probably concerned about what comes next.
At the Thoracic Cancer Program at Tufts Medical Center, care begins with a fast, effective evaluation. Using the latest techniques, our team of experts provides an accurate diagnosis while minimizing additional testing. This means less worrying for you and your family.
Our highly skilled doctors and nurses understand the challenges you face, delivering comprehensive, compassionate treatment for all malignancies of the chest, including:
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Mesotheliomas (tumors in the lining of the lungs)
- Thymomas (tumors of the thymus gland)
- Tracheal tumors
We also provide follow-up evaluation in our Lung Nodule Evaluation Center. Lung nodules are abnormalities commonly observed on a CT scan. They may be cancerous or noncancerous, and our experts will give you a diagnosis quickly so that you'll know your treatment options as soon as possible.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Your treatment options depend on your specific disease and how far it has advanced.
Surgery is often the first step in treating tumors of the chest, particularly if they are early-stage. Whenever possible, our experienced surgeons use minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery to reduce your pain, risk and recovery time.
For early-stage cancers, surgery may be enough to eliminate the tumors. For more advanced cancers within the chest, surgery is often followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Radiosurgery & Radiation Therapy
Patients with early-stage lung cancer who aren't candidates for traditional surgery may receive stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). This noninvasive treatment uses large doses of precisely focused radiation to kill cancer cells with minimal side effects.
We also use traditional radiation therapy to treat thoracic cancers such as lung cancer, often in combination with surgery.
Chemotherapy and other "targeted" cancer-fighting medications can be used alone or in combination with other therapies. They're often prescribed to reduce tumor size prior to a surgical resection (removing all or a portion of the lung) or to prevent reoccurrence following surgery.
Our doctors use advanced molecular profiling to determine if targeted anti-cancer drugs — which usually have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy — are appropriate for you.
In addition to the above treatment options, you may have access to some of the most promising clinical trials here and across the country.
The Specialists You Need for the Care You Deserve
Our doctors all have extensive experience treating patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer and other thoracic cancers. Our team includes thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists, medical and interventional pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and nutritionists as well as experts in pain management and palliative care. Your individualized care team will include the necessary specialists to provide the best possible treatment for your cancer type.
If a recent imaging test has revealed nodules or "spots" on your lungs, our doctors will work closely with the expert team in the Lung Nodule Evaluation Center to provide you with a prompt evaluation. Our assessment will determine the nature of the nodule, the need for further testing and, if necessary, the ideal follow-up plan for your condition.
Beyond Diagnosis & Treatment
In the Thoracic Cancer Program, we know a cancer diagnosis can affect every aspect of your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Here, your doctor takes the time to get to know you because we believe individualized treatment means more than prescribing therapies — it means caring for you as a person from the moment you walk through our door.
We pair every patient with a nurse navigator who sets up appointments, follows up on your care and answers any questions you have. Your nurse navigator also connects you and your family with services such as pain management, nutrition counseling and support groups.