From screening and diagnosis to treatment, Memorial Hermann Hospital’s comprehensive Lung Cancer Program provides personalized, multi-disciplinary and cutting-edge care for lung cancer patients. A highly specialized team of physicians, who are affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, are also involved in clinical research that translates directly into advanced patient care. The team also includes a social worker and nurse navigator to ensure that you never feel lost in a medical maze.
Our easy to use appointment scheduling tool allows you to set up your lung cancer screening appointment online.
Memorial Hermann affiliated thoracic surgeonDr. Philip Rascoediscusses lung cancer screenings, diagnosis and the latest treatment options available for treating lung cancer.
Memorial Hermann-TMC affiliated cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Philip Rascoe discusses lung cancer screening, diagnosis and the latest treatment options available for the treatment of lung cancer.
The Lung Cancer Program at Memorial Hermann is prepared to help you with all of the medical expertise, diagnostic tools and personal support necessary to fight this challenging disease.
The Lung Cancer Program at Memorial Hermann offers lung cancer screening, using a low-dose CT (computed tomography) scan of the chest. This quick, non-invasive procedure looks for abnormal lesions that could be a potential cancer. Screening with low-dose CT has been shown in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) to reduce by 20 percent the risk of death from lung cancer among current or former smokers, aged 55 to 77 who have a smoking history of at least 30 pack years. (A pack year is equal to one pack or 20 cigarettes a day for one year.) The lung nodule clinic monitors abnormal lesions detected on the CT scan to discover cancer at the earliest possible stage. A specialist in the disease of lungs determines what additional tests are needed to diagnose potential lung cancer.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Lung Association, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Society of Clinical Oncologists, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), all now recommend that individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer consider annual screening with low dose CT scan of the chest.
Currently, a few private insurance companies will cover the cost of lung cancer screening. For those individuals who do not have insurance coverage of this benefit, we have arranged with the hospital a reasonable cost for the CT scan, interpretation by a board-certified radiologist, written report that will include recommendations for follow-up studies, and a reminder from the oncology nurse navigator to the patient. If an abnormality is detected on the screening examination, further evaluation and work up of this should be covered by insurance.
If the CT scan detects an abnormal finding,the lung cancer program at Memorial Hermann is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to diagnose lung cancer:
Using these advanced technologies, diagnosis and staging can be performed in a single procedure. The procedure begins with a biopsy, analyzed immediately by an on-site pathologist to determine whether or not a mass is malignant. If it is, the pulmonary interventional oncologist “stages” the cancer – determines its exact size, location and the extent to which it may have spread beyond the lungs – without a follow-up procedure.
After a lung cancer diagnosis, the multi-specialty team affiliated with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center collaborates to ensure that treatment is carefully planned and personalized for each patient. Challenging cases are addressed by tumor boards where physicians meet to discuss treatment options and create clear, consistent plans for patients.
Early stage lung cancer is treated with curative surgery performed by thoracic surgeons who specialize in doing these procedures. For those patients who are unable to undergo lung surgery Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SBRT) is also available. Treatment options in later stages may include one or a combination of therapies:
In addition, our affiliation with UTHealth provides qualifying patients with access to clinical trials that further expand treatment options.
The lung cancer team also provides early palliative care for advanced lung cancer patients – treatment that relieves discomfort, symptoms and stress. Studies have shown that this approach not only improves quality of life, it also prolongs it. Doctors also work with patients to establish advanced directives and identify goals for care.
During and after treatment, specialized lung cancer support groups give patients, survivors and their families’ assistance addressing emotional needs and healthy lifestyle choices. In addition to the providers below, patients are cared for by a team of skilled professionals in the areas of interventional and diagnostic imaging, nutritional counseling and weight-loss management, a social worker as well as an oncology nurse navigator who will help guide the patient through every step of their treatment and keep open lines of communication with the referring physician on the patient's treatment plan.