Thoracic Cancer Care

When you’re a patient at Providence, we don’t just treat your cancer – we treat you. We use the most advanced treatments to create a highly personalized care plan. We also support you and your loved ones with a full range of services throughout your entire cancer journey. The result is effective, whole-person care for your body, mind and spirit.

Why Choose Us for Thoracic 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 thoracic 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 and pulmonologists. You also may be treated by one of over 100 physicians with thoracic and/or cardiothoracic surgery specialties. If surgery is required, our world-class surgeons use the most advanced techniques, including robotic and video-assisted surgery. It’s a team-based approach to thoracic cancer care. Your care team may also include oncology nurse navigators, counselors 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 thoracic 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 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 thoracic 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 4,200 new thoracic cancer patients, and 50,000 new cancer patients, choose Providence each year.

Providence is well known for offering options – and hope – to patients seeking the most advanced procedures and therapies to treat thoracic cancer. Our research team is studying the effectiveness of an experimental treatment combined with chemotherapy for advanced lung cancer patients. As a patient, you have the opportunity to participate in one of over 85 clinical trials happening across the Providence network for thoracic cancer treatment.

About Thoracic Cancer

Thoracic cancers form in the chest and include cancers of the lungs, the windpipe and the thymus. The expert oncology teams at Providence use the most effective therapies to treat patients with every type of thoracic cancer and its related conditions, including:

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Testing and Diagnostics

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Diagnostic tools help our cancer clinicians determine which therapies will work best for each patient, based on many factors like cancer type and the genetic or molecular profile of the tumor. Your doctors will use multiple advanced diagnostic and prognostic tools to help design your individualized treatment plan, including:

Personalized Treatment for Thoracic Cancer

We take a team approach to your thoracic cancer treatment because we know this offers the best success in controlling and curing cancer. Your multidisciplinary cancer care team will work with you to design an individualized cancer care plan, from diagnosis to post-treatment support. We offer many different therapies across our Providence locations. Depending on your condition, your personal care plan may include one or more of the following:

Systemic therapies travel through the bloodstream and affect cells in other body parts. They are used for patients whose cancer has spread to other areas of the body or if there’s a high risk of spread. Sophisticated genetic analysis allows us to target therapies to specific DNA mutations that cause cancer cells to develop and grow. Systemic therapies include:

Chemotherapy is the systemic use of cytotoxic chemicals to kill cancer cells. Today there are many medications (e.g., biological medications, immune treatments, targeted therapies) that do not fit the classic definition of chemotherapy yet are often included in this category.

Clinical trials represent research protocols that include the use of new drugs or drug combinations in a specific clinical situation.

Immunotherapy uses drugs to allow the body’s own immune system to more effectively find and destroy cancer cells.

Molecularly targeted therapy is the use of drugs that are molecularly targeted at a genetic mutation that has allowed the cancer to grow. This therapy enables personalized treatments for patients who carry certain genetic mutations or abnormalities.

Surgical therapies involve an operation or procedure to remove cancer from the body. Surgery may be the main treatment for some invasive cancers, but it’s only one part of the entire treatment plan. Surgical therapies include:

Pleuroscopy is a procedure in which a small video camera called an endoscope is inserted through the ribs into a space between the lungs and chest wall. This procedure may be performed to obtain biopsies or drain fluid from the lungs.

Video camera-assisted surgery allows for better and more controlled access, giving the surgeon a clear and magnified view of the surgical area. It allows them to use smaller instruments and move with greater precision in a minimally invasive fashion, all of which results in a less traumatic experience and quicker recovery for the patient.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Staging endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a procedure in which a small video camera fitted with a special probe is inserted into the airway. In addition to directly seeing the structures, the physician uses sound waves (ultrasound) to enhance the images of the lymph nodes and surrounding tissues.

EBUS can often allow biopsies to be performed safely without visualization. This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Robotic wedge resection is a procedure in which a wedge-shaped section of diseased or damaged lung tissue is removed with robotic assistance.

Robotic-assisted surgery allows for better and more controlled access, giving the surgeon a clear and magnified view of the surgical area. It allows them to use smaller instruments and move with greater precision in a minimally invasive fashion, all of which results in a less traumatic experience and quicker recovery for the patient.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Wedge resection using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a procedure in which a wedge-shaped section of diseased or damaged lung tissue is removed with video-camera assistance.

Video-assisted surgery extends the capabilities of the surgeon's eyes and hands, giving them a clear and magnified view of the surgical area. It allows them to use smaller instruments and move with greater precision in a minimally invasive fashion, all of which results in a less traumatic experience and quicker recovery for the patient.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Lung lobectomy is the surgical removal of one of the five lobes of a lung. It can be performed with a traditional thoracotomy, or with a less invasive treatment option called video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).

Open lung wedge resection is a surgical procedure involving the removal of a tumor from the lung through a large incision in the chest, during which the ribs are spread apart.

Open thoracic surgery is a type of surgery performed on the chest to remove a tumor or repair an organ. The surgeon gains access by cutting through the breastbone or between the ribs.

Pneumonectomy is a surgical procedure to remove an entire lung.

Segmentectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a part of an organ, such as a lung, liver or breast, that contains a tumor.

Sleeve lobectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a lung tumor while saving that part of the lung. It involves removing the cancer growth and part of the main bronchus (the airway), then rejoining the ends of the bronchus and the lung.

Video-mediastinoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure to inspect the area behind the breastbone known as the mediastinum. A surgeon guides a mediastinoscope — a flexible, narrow tube with a small video camera on the end — through a small incision just above the breastbone.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation from a source like X-rays or photons to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. It may be part of a treatment plan that also includes systemic therapies and/or surgery. Radiation is sometimes used to help ease a patient’s pain or discomfort. Radiation therapies include:

Brachytherapy is an approach to delivering radiation treatment from a source implanted inside the body. These sources may be placed either permanently or temporarily at the tumor site.

By delivering radiation directly into a tumor, this technique spares the surrounding normal tissue any exposure to radiation and the side effects that it may bring.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians and support. It is available at some Providence locations.

Interstitial high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a specialized brachytherapy technique in which rapidly emitting radiation sources are placed briefly inside the body through a needle catheter to irradiate the target tumor.

By delivering high-dose radiation directly into a tumor, this technique can reduce the number of treatments needed for a patient. The surrounding normal tissue is spared exposure to radiation and the side effects that it may bring.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians and support. It is available at some Providence locations.

Hemithoracic radiation is radiation delivered to one side of the chest.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) are advanced types of radiation therapies. IMRT uses advanced technology to manipulate the radiation beams to conform to the shape of a tumor. VMAT is a subtype of IMRT in which the machine actively delivers radiation beams while moving in an arc around the patient.

This method of radiation delivery offers next-generation capabilities. The arc-based therapy provided via VMAT delivers high doses of radiation to more focused areas, reducing side effects and the overall treatment time for the patient. This treatment is particularly effective at treating several types of cancer while at the same time reducing toxicity and harm to vital organs.

This procedure is one of several new ways to deliver radiation therapy. It requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Surface-guided radiation therapy (SGRT/SIGRT) is an approach to radiation targeting that offers real-time beam guidance from face and body surface-recognition systems.

This treatment is particularly effective at treating several types of cancer while at the same time reducing toxicity and harm to vital organs, thus minimizing side effects.

This advanced procedure requires a sophisticated facility and equipment, along with highly specialized physicians. It is available at some Providence locations.

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) is a radiation planning and treatment technique in which three-dimensional (3D) imaging enables improved targeting for radiation treatment. 3D planning with CT imaging makes radiation treatment much more conformal, or tailored to the target.

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Accreditations

We are proud to see our dedication to our cancer patients recognized by some of the most well-respected programs and institutions in the United States. Several of our Providence locations have achieved the following accreditations:

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.

Find Clinical Trials

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

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Expert Tips and Advice for Cancer

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