Expert Lung Cancer Care at Providence Saint John’s

At Providence Saint John’s, we understand that a lung cancer diagnosis may mark your entry into a complex and daunting new world of family concerns, medical options and changes in lifelong patterns. Our patients come from all over the world to be treated at Saint John’s. Our team of skilled surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and nurses are here to navigate these challenges with you. Throughout your diagnosis and treatment, you’ll receive personalized, compassionate care from a team of experts, led by Robert McKenna, M.D., a national leader in lung cancer surgery and treatment.

2285.1 miles away
844-510-4325

Expert Lung Cancer Care at Providence Saint John’s

At Providence Saint John’s, we understand that a lung cancer diagnosis may mark your entry into a complex and daunting new world of family concerns, medical options and changes in lifelong patterns. Our patients come from all over the world to be treated at Saint John’s. Our team of skilled surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and nurses are here to navigate these challenges with you. Throughout your diagnosis and treatment, you’ll receive personalized, compassionate care from a team of experts, led by Robert McKenna, M.D., a national leader in lung cancer surgery and treatment.

2285.1 miles away

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.

By the time you visit Saint John’s Surgery Services, you already know you appear to have a suspicious or cancerous spot in the area of your lungs. You may have done some independent research about types of cancer and the range of possible treatments. You are sure to have questions about how far the cancer has progressed, which may not immediately be possible to determine.

We understand you want to move quickly now that you know something may be wrong, so we respond urgently to your call:

  • We often are able to schedule your visit for the same day you call
  • We can schedule an operation as soon as the next day

Please feel free to come to your appointment with a family member or trusted friend, or by yourself.

 

What we will need for your appointment:

  • Bring the image of the affected area taken by your physician, radiologist or X-ray technician. A written report will not be enough for your care team to determine if you need surgery.
  • When you arrive for your appointment, a member of the thoracic surgery team will collect from you a brief medical history, asking such questions as “How was your spot discovered?” We will want to understand, for example, whether you are exhibiting symptoms that may be indicative of cancer or whether a suspicious spot appeared on an X-ray you received for another purpose, such as to assess injuries from a traffic accident.
  • After this brief discussion, you will be introduced to Dr. McKenna, who will meet with you in an exam room.

To  determine whether cancer has formed in your lungs, Dr. McKenna will examine the scans. It’s possible – even likely – that the image will tell the story, but it’s also possible he will recommend additional diagnostic screens, such as a PET scan or a biopsy of your sputum, lymph nodes or tissue.

It’s also possible that your scan will lead Dr. McKenna to consult with other members of the care team, such as a neurologist or radiologist, before making a final diagnosis.

Dr. McKenna will discuss his findings with you in his office. It is likely he will be able to outline your options for treatment, which may include surgery. You will have the time you need to ask questions and discuss concerns you have about the diagnosis or the preferred course of treatment.

Your treatment will be directed by the decisions you make with Dr. McKenna. You will have the chance to consider your choices before undergoing any surgical procedure.

Your choice of treatment will be guided by the diagnosis. If you have what’s known as small-cell cancer, or if your non-small-cell cancer has advanced to Stage II, III or IV, your treatment may include chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Fortunately, most of the patients who come to Providence Saint John’s Division of Thoracic Surgery are people at Stage I, whose cancer or spot has been discovered early.

Dr. McKenna is a pioneer in a minimally invasive procedure called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, or VATS. In this procedure, the tumor is removed through a small incision, allowing you to heal more quickly, with less pain than you experience in conventional thoracic surgery. 

Your care team will work with you to determine the most effective, least invasive form of treatment. We share your wish to begin the recovery process as quickly as possible.
After the procedure you will be scheduled for a six-month follow-up visit, so your care team can continue to monitor your lung health.

Soon after they arrive for their first visit, many people ask “What if I have cancer?”

Our answer is simple: If you have cancer, then you have joined the family. We will get to know you as you get to know us, and we will share in your journey through the diagnosis, surgery and recovery.

 

The Division of Minimally Invasive Chest Surgery and Thoracic Surgical Oncology is committed to excellence in patient care, teaching, research and community service. Services provided by the Saint John's Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Division of General Thoracic Surgery encompass all aspects of chest diseases. Our surgeons are well recognized leaders in Thoracic Surgery nationally and internationally.

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Why Choose Us for Lung Cancer Care?

At Providence, we see the life in you. Together, let’s finish cancer – so you don’t have to miss any of life’s special moments.

No two patients, or their treatment plans, are alike. This is why, at Providence, we take a highly personalized approach to your lung cancer care. You’ll experience this through  our multidisciplinary tumor boards, where your oncology team collaborates with other cancer care experts about your specific diagnosis. We also offer a Providence Molecular Tumor Board, where we evaluate your genomic and clinical information to find the best genetically matched treatment for you. Your oncology team will work with you directly to design a treatment plan that fits your personal needs. It’s an approach that combines leading-edge treatment with the compassionate care Providence is known for. Why? Because we know this results in the best outcomes.

As a patient, you’ll be supported through your entire cancer journey by a multidisciplinary cancer care team. You’ll be treated by board-certified medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons – over 100 of whom have highly-specialized thoracic surgical training. If surgery is required, those world-class surgeons use the most advanced techniques, including minimally invasive, robotic and video-assisted surgery for many patients. It’s a team-based approach to lung cancer care. Your care team may include oncology nurse navigators, pathologists and other cancer specialists. We also provide you and your family with a full range of support services well beyond conventional treatment, from genetic counseling and education to nutrition and pain management.

Learn more about the experts who make up our multidisciplinary cancer care teams.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but access to great lung 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 offer various location-specific services to help our patients receive equitable care, such as translation for non-English-speaking patients, telehealth and transportation assistance. We also provide community-based cancer screening programs, which improve outcomes, especially in ethnic populations disproportionately affected by lung cancer. We value, respect and support the racial, ethnic, religious, spiritual, gender and sexual identities of each member of our diverse communities, and we welcome all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. We aim to make sure every patient is treated equally and with dignity – whoever you are, and wherever you're at.

As a patient at Providence, you have access to the largest community-based cancer network in the United States. Being part of a collaborative network means that your local lung cancer care team shares knowledge and experience with other world-class clinicians across 51 hospitals in seven states. The extent and power of our network is one of the reasons more than 4,000 new lung cancer patients, and over 50,000 new cancer patients, trust Providence each year.

Providence is well known for offering options – and hope – to patients seeking the most advanced procedures and therapies to treat lung cancer. Providence researchers have led clinical trials testing immunotherapy and genomically targeted therapy combinations, contributing to a groundbreaking improvement in lung cancer outcomes. Providence scientists have also developed a vaccine for lung cancer and performed the first-in-human trial showing promising results. Providence researchers are currently working on over 80 clinical trials for lung cancer, including treatments to inhibit tumor growth, minimize the side effects of radiation therapy and improve patient outcomes. As a patient, you have the opportunity to participate in one of the many clinical trials for lung cancer treatment happening across the Providence network.

The Power of Our Network

Part of the Providence Cancer Institute in Los Angeles

Our patients are the center of everything we do:

  • Our unique patient navigator program offers navigators specific to each cancer type to assist you throughout your cancer journey.
  • Our beautiful, modern hospitals are equipped with the latest technologies.
  • We also offer robust research labs not found in local, community-focused hospitals.

Learn more about the Providence Cancer Institute in Los Angeles

Doctor sitting with patient
Senior woman looking hopeful as she gazes out window

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Are you looking for a clinical trial for yourself or for a patient? We’d love to help you find one!