Coordinated care and support
Receiving a lung cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and scary – but it doesn’t have to be. At Tufts Medical Center, you can feel assured that a team of specialists including radiologists, oncologist, pulmonologists and surgeons will be working together to find the best treatment plan for you.
You will meet with everyone you need to see during one appointment, often at the same time. This way, we can better coordinate your care and offer personalized recommendations tailored to your condition.
The lung cancer specialists at Tufts MC also meet together weekly to discuss your progress and consider the best options for treatments. Our doctors use the most advanced techniques available, including robotically assisted and minimally invasive surgery, which better preserves lung capacity so you can breathe easier.
The team is led by Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Laurence H. Brinkerhoff, MD who has been ranked as among the best in the country by U.S. News and World Report and as one of Boston’s “Top Doctors” by Boston Magazine. The medical director is another of Boston Magazine’s “Top Doctors,” Gary M. Strauss, MD, MPH, who is a national leader in lung cancer therapy and a primary investigator on national and international clinical research trials.
What can I expect at Tufts Medical Center?
At Tufts Medical Center, we strive to reduce the anxiety that can come with a diagnosis of lung cancer. This includes making a special effort to ensure you are seen quickly, often within 24 hours of a request for an appointment.
During treatment, you will be paired with a nurse navigator who will help guide you through the process and answer all of your questions. She will work with other team members to ensure that you have effective pain management and maintenance of good nutrition.
While you are being cared for, we also provide care for your family. Lung cancer affects not just the patient but also spouses, children and others close to you. We have compassionate social workers on staff who will help you and your family with guidance and emotional support.
Lung cancer is caused by cells that grow and multiply uncontrollably, damaging the surrounding tissue and interfering with the lungs’ normal function. It is typically described in stages by how much the cancer has progressed in the body. These stages are then used to determine the best treatment options.
- Early Disease: The cancer is localized to one spot within the lung and can typically be treated with minimally invasive surgery.
- Regional Disease: The cancer has spread in the lymph nodes. Patients will typically be treated with chemotherapy and radiation along with surgery.
- Metastatic Disease: The cancer has spread outside of the chest. Treatment usually involves a combination of chemotherapy or other targeted therapies. Radiation therapy may also be recommended.
Depending on the stage of your disease, treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery. To determine the best options for you, our specialists will use advanced diagnostic techniques such as a fine- needle aspiration biopsy. During this outpatient procedure, your surgeon will obtain a small sample of the tumor and determine whether newer targeted therapies will work.
If you have early stage lung cancer and are not able to have surgery due to other medical conditions, you may be a candidate for Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT). This non-invasive treatment that uses large amounts of precisely focused radiation to kill tumor cells with minimal side effects.
One thing that really sets us apart is the fact that many of our specialists lead or participate in clinical trials. This means that we can give you access to recently developed treatments that may be otherwise available.
New patients: 617-636-5291