In 2015, approximately 4.8 million people had a CT scan of their chest and 1.6 million of these scans detected a lung nodule. These nodules are often an incidental finding on scans ordered for a different reason. While the majority of these nodules are non-cancerous, sometimes early-stage curable cancers are found serendipitously. Therefore, these nodules require thoughtful evaluation and management to avoid misuse of overly invasive testing while taking advantage of the potential opportunity to intervene early and achieve a cure.
The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Lung Center has a dedicated Pulmonary Nodule Clinic, staffed by a multidisciplinary team of pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, as well as diagnostic and interventional radiologists. Evaluation and management decisions are made with a team-based approach incorporating patient preferences along with the most current guidelines.
As part of comprehensive nodule management, The Lung Center offers a robust lung cancer screening program. National studies have demonstrated that screening with low-dose CT scans in high risk individuals can reduce the relative risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent. Our Lung Cancer Diagnostic and Screening Clinic team provides support for patients from pre-screening counseling to coordinating the low-dose CT scan to conducting a thorough post-scan debriefing. We use a patient-centered team approach to determine the optimal post-screening care plan.
Read this article about guidelines for lung cancer screening championed by BWH physicians.
Download this tool developed by BWH physicians to determine if you should be screened for lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Roughly 225,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year according to the American Cancer Society. Survival statistics vary depending on the type of lung cancer and the stage (how advanced) it is when identified. Some people with earlier stage lung cancers can be cured—making early detection imperative. Our diagnostic approaches include:
Board-certified physicians and surgeons at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Lung Center provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for patients with lung nodules that may be cancerous. As the thoracic surgical and pulmonary medicine specialists for Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, our physicians collaborate with radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and pathologists to deliver the latest diagnostic and staging methods, including molecular testing of lung tumors to guide targeted treatment. Our Women’s Lung Cancer Program offers advanced evaluation and care for women with lung cancer.
Call The Lung Center at 1-844-BWH-LUNG (1-844-294-5864) to make an appointment with a lung cancer diagnostic or screening specialist or request an appointment online.
Physicians can call 1-844-BWH-LUNG (1-844-294-5864) to refer a patient or can make an online referral.
The Lung Center is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) at the 15 Francis Street entrance. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary and critical care medicine and thoracic imaging are adjacent to one another, making accessibility and appointment scheduling seamless.
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