Thoracic Oncology Program

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Thoracic Oncology Program

Providence Thoracic Oncology Program serves patients with cancers and conditions of the chest, including lung cancer. Our team will deliver the most accurate diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment. Our goal is to help you recover as quickly and fully as possible.


Thoracic Oncology Program

Providence Thoracic Oncology Program serves patients with cancers and conditions of the chest, including lung cancer. Our team will deliver the most accurate diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment. Our goal is to help you recover as quickly and fully as possible.

Meet the Team

At Providence, you'll have access to a vast network of dedicated and compassionate providers who offer personalized care by focusing on treatment, prevention and health education.

Conditions We Treat

We treat patients with cancer and other conditions of the chest.

Non-cancerous (benign) chest conditions:

  • Diaphragm disorders
  • Diaphragm paralysis
  • Lung abscess
  • Lung Infections
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pneumothorax
  • Rib and sternal fractures
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Thoracic schwannomas
  • Tracheal stenosis

Cancerous (malignant) conditions:


  • Chest wall deformities
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Lung nodule
  • Mediastinal masses
  • Pulmonary emphysema

Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons, thoracic surgical oncologists and medical oncologists have the expertise to treat all your conditions and disorders of the lungs and chest. Our team will work together with you to create a personalized treatment plan.

Whether you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, thymoma, myasthenia gravis or a chest mass, we are here to help. We also treat patients who may have symptoms or pain from a chest condition, such as thoracic outlet syndrome or a diaphragm disorder.

When you work with the Providence thoracic team, you know you’re getting the best possible care. Our expert thoracic surgeons and surgical oncologists collaborate closely with our pulmonologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Weekly conferences allow a team approach in planning your treatment, from cutting-edge diagnostic procedures to state-of-the-art surgical options and treatment.

Patient Resources

There are many different conditions and cancers that can happen in the thoracic (chest) region. The most common include:

We’re here to help you understand your risk for these conditions and catch any sign of lung cancer early. Call your provider if you think you may be at risk for lung cancer or are having trouble breathing or chest pain.

Ask an expert: Why do nonsmokers get lung cancer?

Symptoms of COPD often involve:

  • A long-lasting (chronic) cough
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Weight loss

For conditions like lung cancer, symptoms don’t often appear until the cancer is more severe. Different people have different symptoms for lung cancer.

If symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • Chest pain
  • A cough that does not go away
  • Coughing up blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing, such as shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Unexplained weight loss

While many people associate lung cancer with smoking, more people who have never smoked, or smoked many years ago, are developing lung cancer. If you experience any of these lung cancer symptoms, talk to your doctor.

There are some risk factors that can make people more likely to develop a thoracic condition or cancer.

These include:

  • Asbestos exposure
  • Environmental pollution
  • Family history
  • Radon exposure
  • Smoking
  • Secondhand smoke

Benign chest conditions have many different symptoms, including:

  • Arm pain, tingling or numbness (thoracic outlet syndrome)
  • Chest pain (Pectus excavatum)
  • Trouble breathing while lying flat or bending over (diaphragm disorders)
  • Weakness (Myasthenia gravis)

A lung cancer screening is a test for finding lung cancer early, even before you have symptoms. The recommended lung cancer screening is a low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung scan, also known as LDCT. This screening test uses low doses of x-rays to find abnormal areas in your lungs that may be cancer. This is the only proven effective way to screen for lung cancer.

Talk with your doctor if you have any concern about your lung cancer risks. Your doctor can help to decide if lung cancer screening is right for you and give you the information you need. You should also check with your health insurance provider about your screening coverage.

The current lung cancer screening recommendations for adults include:

  • Ages 50-80 and
  • Still smoking or have quit within the past 15 years and
  • Smoked at least a pack of cigarettes each day for 20 years

At Providence, we have established a lung cancer screening program to provide screenings with the best quality of care.

  • We use low-dose CT scans, resulting in less radiation exposure than standard CT imaging.
  • Each patient’s scans are reviewed by a team of doctors at multidisciplinary cancer
    conferences where providers discuss diagnoses, treatment planning, and other case specific topics.
  • We follow all standards and best practices for screening quality, radiation dose and process for diagnosis.
  • The Lung Cancer Alliance has named us a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence. This recognizes Providence for following best practices when it comes to screening quality and follow-up care.
  • We work across the Providence network to ensure you get the care you need – from screening through treatment and beyond.

We’re here to make sure you receive the best treatment available for your thoracic condition. Our team of experts works together to design your personalized treatment plan using the best available therapies.

Thoracic surgery services

Providence Thoracic Surgery provides specialized surgical treatment for disorders of the chest and lungs. Our thoracic surgeons use minimally invasive techniques such as robotic and video assisted surgery to reduce recovery time and get you home sooner. Our goal is to return you home safely and enhance your recovery after surgery.

Learn More About Lung Cancer Surgery
Lung cancer services

At the core of the Providence Thoracic Oncology Program is a team of lung cancer experts – medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons and pulmonologists – with the patient's condition and personalized treatment in mind.

Many new treatment options have been discovered and researched within the past few years, providing better outcomes and survival benefits. We use the most recent medical developments and clinical trials to give patients the best possible quality of life.

Lung cancer treatment may include:

  • Targeted therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy: Multiple therapies can be used together or separately to target cancer cells. These drugs may be injected into a vein or taken orally to enter the bloodstream and treat the cancer. Providence has been involved in developing new immunotherapy treatments for over 25 years. Providence is also known globally for robust research and breakthrough treatments offered to patients.
  • Radiation therapy: In some cases, radiation is used in combination with chemotherapy to reduce the size of tumors. Providence offers multiple types of radiation therapy to treat lung cancer.
  • Surgery: Providence Cancer Institute thoracic surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to reduce surgical complications and enhance your recovery.
  • Genomic sequencing looks at your tumor’s DNA so that your physicians can understand the unique mutations. This helps your care team determine what treatments may be most successful.
  • Breakthrough research and clinical trials through the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute
  • Genetic counseling and testing

A lung cancer diagnosis can be scary. We offer a variety of support resources that complement and enhance your treatment. Our team can also connect you to community resources to address the emotional, physical, and financial stressors that come with a cancer diagnosis.

Our care and support services include:

  • Oncology nurse navigation
  • Oncology social work services
  • Financial counseling
  • Support groups and wellness groups
  • Integrative medicine (e.g., acupuncture, naturopathy, massage)
  • Oncology nutrition services
  • Oncology palliative care
See More Support Services

Clinical trials are research studies that test whether new medical treatments, devices or strategies are safe and effective. Patients who volunteer for clinical trials play an active role in their own health care. They often gain access to experimental treatments and help others by improving and advancing medical care.

At Providence, our thoracic surgeons and oncologists work directly with our researchers to find appropriate trials for you. Clinical trials give you access to the latest treatments available.

More than 150 trials are open at any time.


See Clinical Trials

Related Resources

What you should know about lung cancer

Lung cancer is not one-size-fits-all. There are many types – including small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer – and sub-types. Your specific type of lung cancer impacts how it affects your body and what treatment you need.

Hear from Rachel Sanborn, M.D., Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at Providence Cancer Institute, about lung cancer causes, symptoms, treatments and new research.

Lung cancer screenings save lives

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. – usually because you may not notice lung cancer symptoms until the cancer has spread.

The good news is that lung cancer screenings help find the disease early, even if you don’t have symptoms. Screening for lung cancer increases the chance of an earlier diagnosis when treatment is more effective.

Ask your primary care doctor if a CT lung cancer screening is right for you.

Why Choose Us for Your Cancer Care?

We know that every patient is unique. No two patients – or their treatment plans – are alike. This is why we take a highly personalized approach to cancer care, and we always put our patients first. Our cancer specialists are at the forefront of innovative, state-of-the-art technologies and treatment options.  We partner with you to develop specialized treatment plans that fit your needs and provide the best outcomes. At Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, some of our advanced treatments include:

  • Complete genomic sequencing to determine the unique genetic composition of your cancer and the most effective treatments 
  • World-class immunotherapy capabilities, including adoptive cell therapy, CAR T-cell therapy, TIL therapy and high-dose IL-2 
  • Targeted therapies, including oral and infusion chemotherapy
  • State-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical options, including robotic- assisted surgery and advanced surgical oncology research through biomedical engineering technology
  • A comprehensive Radiation Oncology Program, with state-of-the-art external beam and internal radiation therapy treatments, including the only MRI linear accelerator in the Pacific Northwest, Gamma Knife Perfexion, HDR Brachytherapy and more
  • A robust clinical trials portfolio of early phase studies developed by our world-renowned researchers and cooperative group studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute
  • Genetic counseling and testing for cancer risk assessment, prevention, early detection and treatment planning
  • An award-winning Cardio-Oncology Program to minimize the cardiovascular side effects of cancer treatments
  • Evidence-based complementary medicine such as naturopathy, massage therapy and acupuncture through our Integrative Medicine Program

You will have access to unsurpassed support at every stage of your treatment, adding an extra dimension of care to help fight cancer. Our oncology nurse navigators, social workers, dietitians and spiritual care providers help guide you through treatment and promote health on every level — body, mind and spirit. As an added layer of support, our Oncology Resource Specialists provide free, personalized assistance to patients, families and care partners. These caregivers will help you navigate and use the many resources available throughout the community and through Providence.

Learn more about our cancer support services.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but access to great cancer care hasn’t always been the same for everyone. At Providence, we are deeply committed to making sure every patient we treat has access to the best cancer care. We value, respect and support the racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual and spiritual identities of each member of our diverse community, and we never turn a patient away. Instead, we work to make sure every patient is treated equally and with dignity – whoever you are, and wherever you are in your journey.

When you become a patient at Providence, you become part of a collaborative cancer-care network. Our care often exceeds national measures for patient outcomes. We have award-winning doctors, scientists, researchers and caregivers across 51 hospitals in seven states. The skills of your local team and the power of this network add up to the best, most compassionate care. And if you need to meet with a specialist outside your area, we have telehealth technology to help. Our network and superior care are among the reasons 6,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients choose Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon each year.

Through our pioneering research, we have helped make cancer immunotherapy a new standard of care. Our globally renowned team of physician researchers and scientists at Earle A. Chiles Research Institute offers hope to patients and families.


Part of Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon

Providence Cancer Institute is a leading provider of cancer care in Oregon, and part of the largest community-based cancer-care network in the United States. Regardless of where you go for care, you have an entire team of cancer experts working together to provide a personalized, whole-person approach to your care. At Providence we see more than a cancer diagnosis, we see the life in you and are committed to helping you live well again.

Learn More About the Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon

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