SwedishAmerican Health System has begun a Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Center (MLCC). The MLCC is a group of specialists brought together to evaluate patients with known or suspected lung tumors in a timely and coordinated manner.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in both men and women in the United States and the leading cause of cancer deaths. Most often, lung cancer is a silent, growing cancer and is undetected until it has progressed into a later stage, which decreases the overall survival of the patient.
According to Dawna Menke, director of Oncology, Imaging & Clinical Services at SwedishAmerican: There have been recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, requiring close collaboration between specialists. Bringing multiple specialists together to care and coordinate the diagnosis and treatment of a disease can improve the overall outcome for the patient.
The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Center at SwedishAmerican involves thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurse practitioner, and gastroenterologists, if needed.
The advantages that the Lung Center will offer to the patient include the following:
Initial evaluation by a team of specialists;
Coordination of care and follow-up by a Nurse Practitioner Navigator;
The expertise of the lung conference facilitated by the team of specialists;
Complete work-up and recommendations for treatment in a timely manner;
Collaboration of care and one treatment plan;
Access to state-of-the-art standard and investigational therapies;
An opportunity to meet with support services sooner, e.g. dietitians, social workers;
Comprehensive patient education;
Timely feedback to referring physicians;
Access to multiple specialists to give the patient more efficient care.
SwedishAmerican is the first hospital within the region to develop this type of service for lung cancer. The Lung Cancer Center will improve diagnosis, treatment, care and support of patients with this disease.
From the Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2007, issue