Centers of Excellence

The Lung Center

Lung Cancer Diagnostic and Screening Clinic

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 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.

Learn more about lung nodules.

What is the Lung Cancer Diagnostic and Screening Clinic?

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.

Take the lung cancer screening quiz developed by physicians to determine if you should be screened.

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:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Computerized tomography scan (CT scan).
  • MRI, PET, or bone scans
  • Sputum cytology
  • Thoracentesis
  • Biopsy
  • Needle biopsy
  • Video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) biopsy
  • Image guided video assisted thoracic surgery (iVATS) for small nodules
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Navigational bronchoscopy
  • Transbronchial biopsy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound
  • Mediastinoscopy

Learn more about lung cancer.

Why choose Brigham and Women's Hospital?

Board-certified physicians and surgeons at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital 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.

How do I make an appointment?

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 at The Lung Center.

How do I refer a patient?

Physicians can call 1-844-BWH-LUNG (1-844-294-5864) to refer a patient or make an online patient referral to The Lung Center.

Who is on the lung cancer diagnostic and screening clinic team?

Where are you located?

The Lung Center is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital 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.

Low Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer Video

Lung cancer is the most frequent cause of cancer death in this country and around the world. In 2014, the American Cancer Society projects 224,000 new cases of lung cancer and 159,000 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer. Lung cancer is a very serious health concern caused in large part, but not entirely, by smoking.

Francine L. Jacobson, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, advises patients to stop smoking to decrease their risk of developing lung cancer. If you have stopped smoking, she advises, you still have a significant risk of developing lung cancer. In the age group 55 to 80, the risk is significant enough to warrant screening on an annual basis. The screening is currently done with a very low dose of radiation in a CT scanner. Dr. Jacobson notes that one life is saved for every 320 lung cancer screenings


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