The Cancer Center

St. LukeFort Hamilton


The Cancer Center at The University Hospital has a long-standing reputation for providing the most advanced and complete range of cancer services available in the region. The Center is a unique facility offering screening, diagnosis and treatment for all types of cancer at one central, convenient location. The Center has consistently been ranked among the best in the US News and World Report guide to “America’s Best Hospitals.” In addition, we act as a resource for cancer education for patients, physicians, health professionals and the general community we serve. The Cancer Center continues to support innovative clinical research with over 120 active protocols sponsored by cooperative programs through the National Cancer Institute as well as private pharmaceutical companies. Our cancer program is approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

The Cancer Center is also home to LEXAR, the world’s first high-precision radiotherapy/radiosurgery technology for treatment of tumors in most parts of the body.

Cancer Support Groups

The physicians who practice medicine at the Center are the same faculty who teach and educate doctors at the College of Medicine. Other team members in cancer treatment include the pharmacy team, a registered, licensed dietitian, social work clinicians, occupational and physical therapists and financial counselors, just to name a few.

Because we are continually looking for better ways to serve our patients, we created the Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Program. One appointment with this program allows you to see several doctors the same morning, in the same location. We will act as your advocate so that tests, appointments and procedures can be scheduled in a timely fashion. Our goal is to reduce the number of visits and to decrease your waiting time.

Working together to care for you

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women. There were an estimated 157,400 deaths from lung cancer in 2001, accounting for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths.

The sooner lung cancer is identified, the better the chances are for overcoming the disease. If you or someone you love is at risk for lung cancer, it is important to have a physician investigate it. For those who have been diagnosed, there are many treatment options available to offer hope.

The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program at The University Hospital Cancer Center specializes in the treatment of lung cancer and other cancers in the chest, such as esophageal cancer, malignant mesothelioma and metastatic cancer.

A team approach to care

You are not alone as you begin your fight against cancer. The Mutidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program at the Center provides a team of experts, including some of the area’s best lung cancer doctors, to care for and support you throughout your treatment.

We recognize that every patient’s treatment needs are different, so we work together to make sure all aspects of treatment are coordinated to provide the most effective personalized treatment program for each individual.

The treatment options for lung cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these, depending on the stage of the tumor. The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Team provides an expert in each area to focus on that aspect of care. The team also comprises a dedicated chest radiologist and pulmonologist who specialize in lung cancer diagnosis and assessment.

All of the specialists meet at least once a week to discuss the treatment and the progress of each patient. Their combined expertise helps ensure that each patient continues to receive the optimal care for his or her condition.

The physicians of the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program also coordinate treatment at the Barrett Cancer Center with the care from your primary care physicians.

Our team of physicians includes experts in the following areas:

Chest radiology – The Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program features a dedicated chest radiologist. Radiology uses a variety of imaging tests in the care of the cancer patient. Through a combination of chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and nuclear scans, radiologists detect the initial presence of cancer, help determine if it has spread and where, and then help monitor the response of the cancer to treatment. Our radiologist is a recognized expert in radiology and in diagnosing lung cancer and other chest diseases.

Medical oncology – Chemotherapy, or the use of drugs in cancer treatment, often plays an integral role in treating lung cancer. It can be used alone or in addition to surgery or radiation therapy. Our medical oncologist is dedicated to assessing and administering the necessary chemotherapy treatments for each patient.

Pulmonology – Our pulmonologist, who is a doctor specializing in lung treatment, assesses each patient to determine the extent of the disease. This information is then used to determine the best treatment options for you.

Radiation oncology – Radiation therapy is the use of targeted beams of radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used to treat cancers in all parts of the body, however our radiation therapist specializes in radiation therapy of the chest.

Thoracic surgery – Thoracic surgeons are physicians specially trained and experienced in operations on the chest and lungs. Our thoracic surgeon understands your concerns about surgery and will ensure you get the best surgical care while you are at the Cancer Center.

Caring for the “whole” patient

We realize that cancer treatment extends beyond just medical care. It also includes spiritual, emotional, educational and social support. Therefore, in addition to providing an expert team of physicians, the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Team also comprises:

  • Counselors
  • Dietitians
  • Genetic counselors
  • Nurses
  • Occupational/physical therapists
  • Pathologists
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Social workers

Access to clinical trials

Patients have access to the latest clinical trials at the Cancer Center. Also known as cancer treatment or research studies, clinical trials attempt to find more effective ways of treating cancer. These treatments may include studies of new drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, combinations of treatments or new methods such as gene therapy.

The physicians on the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Team are involved in a number of clinical trials related to lung cancer treatment. These are listed on the Health Alliance Cancer web site, and patients can discuss the option of participating in these trials with the physicians.

Determining your options

After the cancer is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss treatment options with you. It is important to take time and think about all of the choices. In choosing a treatment plan, factors to consider include your overall physical health; the type and stage of the cancer; likely side effects of the treatment; and the probability of curing the disease, extending life or relieving symptoms.

It is also a good idea to seek a second opinion. A second opinion can provide more information and help you feel more confident about the treatment plan that is chosen. Some insurance companies require a second opinion before they will agree to pay for certain treatments.

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