Often, patients who suspect that they have lung cancer face a series of diagnostic appointments over a period of several weeks, without benefit of actually consulting with all the necessary specialists. We find this unacceptable. So, we instituted a Multidisciplinary Lung Clinic to ensure that our patients receive a timely diagnosis and a thorough evaluation by all relevant specialists.
The Process When patients are referred to our Lung Clinic they are assigned an oncologic nurse who coordinates their care and makes certain they are promptly seen by all appropriate multidisciplinary specialists. Patients are seen each Thursday by a surgeon who, if necessary, arranges a biopsy. The patient's case is then discussed at a weekly Pulmonary Tumor Board which includes a multidisciplinary team of a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, radiologist, interventional radiologist, pulmnologist, pathologist, an oncologic nurse, cancer resource specialist and thoracic oncologic surgeon, to take advantage of their collective knowledge. When the patient returns the next Thursday they meet with their physician to personally discuss the most ideal treatment options and a plan of action is set into motion. The patient's family is included in this meeting as well.
Collaborative Care Cancer patients and their families deserve quality care and services as they fight their disease. That is why The Lacks Cancer Center offers patient navigation services. The nurse navigator can provide individualized support, care coordination, empowerment and advocacy to ensure patients' needs are met.
We also understand that the journey for our cancer patients includes not only the physical aspects of cancer care but emotional and spiritual issues as well. So each multidisciplinary team also includes a personal cancer resource specialist (CRS) to help guide patients through their care. All of our CRSs are Masters-level social workers with an expertise in cancer care. These care givers are available for the sole purpose of assisting patients with the emotional and practical aspects of treatment.
To become part of the Multidisciplinary Lung Clinic have your primary care physician make a referral, or self-refer by calling 1-877-LACKS-MI or 616-685-LACK(S).
Video about preventing Lung Cancer featuring Dr. Bruce Shabahang