The Lung Nodule Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center - Washington Township Personalizes Patient Treatment & Detects Lung Cancer Early
The multidisciplinary Lung Nodule Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Washington Township has adopted a modern approach to screening lung cancer patients, and the success is evident. This approach is based on clear communication and patient navigation, providing multiple services in a single visit. Every other Friday, the lung cancer team meets from 8 to 9 a.m. to evaluate imaging results, and immediately following, patients are able to see their physicians to discuss their options.
When Dr. Jay Steinberg, Medical Director of Thoracic Surgery, and his team joined the Lung Nodule Center, they knew how essential it was to collaborate and develop a cancer-focused program that would change patients’ lives.
“Centers around the U.S. realized you need a multidisciplinary team effort to put together a program that will facilitate, identify high-risk patients, gather data, keep patients in a registry, make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and get patients to the right associates for biopsies once positive results are found,” said Dr. Steinberg.
Dr. Nicole Scivoletti-Polan, Lung Nodule Center Pulmonologist, said the program aims to implement proper testing in the timeliest fashion possible and involves being proactive in terms of fully knowing the patient’s history before considering the next step.
“We’re looking at things moving forward in the patient’s care. We’re starting from the get-go, and this has really changed things. It’s what sets us apart,” said Dr. Scivoletti.
The experts on the lung cancer team include thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, interventional radiologists, supportive administrative staff and nurse navigators.
The nurse navigators contribute greatly to the success of the program, providing clarity, keeping the patients on track and relieving some of their stress.
“You have seriously dedicated and invested physicians, nurse practitioners, supportive administrative staff, nurse navigators, and so on,” said Dr. Steinberg. “You have an incredible investment in this program, and that’s why it’s so successful.”
Screening and early detection are vital components of surviving lung cancer. Early detection can minimize the duration and amount of treatment that a patient may need, and, when caught at an early stage, the patient is more likely to find a cure through surgery, rather than undergo chemotherapy and radiation.