Northside Hospital Cancer Institute opened a new clinic on the Northside Hospital Cherokee campus that is dedicated to the evaluation of lung nodules in order to detect lung cancer earlier and lead to better outcomes.
The American Cancer Society estimates more than 7,240 Georgians will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020. It is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, accounting for more victims than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
The Lung Nodule Clinic at Northside Hospital Cherokee specializes in expediting the workup of patients with lung nodules found incidentally or through Northside’s low-dose CT Lung Cancer Screening Program. While most lung (or pulmonary) nodules are benign, in some cases these small masses of tissue in the lungs can be an early indicator of lung cancer. More often than not, lung nodules go undetected because they do not cause symptoms; however, they can be found incidentally during a CT scan or X-ray.
“Early detection is a key factor in achieving positive outcomes in cancer care and treatment,” said Dr. Akhil Vallabhaneni with Cherokee Lung & Sleep Specialists. “Through our work in the Lung Nodule Clinic, we can diagnose and stage lung nodules more quickly and as a result, our patients can begin their treatment regimens sooner rather than later.”
Once a lung nodule is discovered, the multidisciplinary team of specialists, including interventional pulmonologists, radiologists, thoracic surgeons and oncologists at Northside Hospital Cherokee collaborate to efficiently provide an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan that is implemented by the clinic coordinator. As the main point of contact for the patient, the clinic coordinator works to assist with scheduling all necessary appointments, liaise between the clinical staff and patient, provide educational materials and manage referrals for support services, if needed.
Most patients are referred to the Lung Nodule Clinic after a suspicious nodule is detected on chest scans; however, patients interested in a second opinion on a previous scan may make an appointment as a self-referral.
For more information, visit the Lung Nodule Clinic at Northside Hospital Cherokee.