Lung Cancer

Stamford Health’s approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Questions About Lung Cancer?

We’re here to help. Contact our Oncology Nurse Navigator, Melissa Ronk, RN, OCN, at 203-276-CARE. Press 3.

Our Bennett Cancer Center has a multidisciplinary team approach to your lung cancer care. Our hospital is an affiliate of the New York Presbyterian Health Care System and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, all to help bring you the best in care with the latest technology and most modern techniques. Our mission is to be there for you at the stages of prevention, detection, diagnosis, and lung cancer treatment.

Lung Cancer Prevention and Detection

Stamford Health strives to:

  • Educate the community at all age levels about the risks of tobacco use.
  • Offer one of the most proven lung cancer screening programs in the region. This method has proven effective in detection at the earliest and most curable stages.
  • Encourage our smoking cessation program run by specialists at our institution who will personally guide you every step of the way.
  • Connect you with a Nurse Navigator for a familiar face and voice throughout your care.

Lung Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis 

Thoracic Surgery

If you need thoracic surgery, our thoracic oncology team will make sure you understand the process and level of care involved. Here’s why you can put your trust in our board-certified staff:

  • We use the most modern techniques to treat lung cancer, esophageal cancer, pulmonary metastasis, mediastinal tumors and birth defects of the chest with small incisions, specialized video cameras and instrumentation, and robotic surgery.
  • We offer surgical options that minimize the need to spread the ribs, which means less pain and a quicker recovery.
  • We also specialize in high-risk surgery patients by offering more minimal resections like VATS segmentectomy and sublobar resection.
  • We take into account our patients who can’t have surgery by offering minimally invasive procedures like CyberKnife®.

Pulmonary Medicine

Our dedicated team of pulmonary specialists plays an integral role in our lung cancer program. We take the time to evaluate patients with lung nodules, enlarged lymph nodes, and pleural effusions. We also treat symptoms and diseases commonly associated with lung cancer such as cough, shortness of breath, and COPD/emphysema. This all takes place in our Pulmonary Function Laboratory, where we also offer diagnostic testing from standard lung function tests through cardiopulmonary exercise testing to help evaluate your options.

Diagnostic & Interventional Techniques

If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, we offer a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopic techniques. Here’s a breakdown:

  • We insert a telescope through the mouth into the airway, incision-free.
  • Our pulmonology and surgical teams are skilled in advanced technology like linear and radial endobronchial ultrasounds and electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy. This allows us to properly diagnose you both efficiently and in the most minimally invasive way possible.
  • We also offer a range of procedures if you have pleural disease, including ultrasound-guided thoracentesis, pleuroscopy, closed pleural biopsies, and pleurodesis.
  • We aim to allay uncomfortable symptoms with techniques like laser airway resection and stenting, as well as placement of pleural catheters to make breathing easier.

Pathology

The Department of Pathology at Stamford Hospital is unique in Fairfield County because it offers sophisticated lung cancer testing not available at other hospitals.

When a patient with a lung nodule undergoes a diagnostic biopsy a Stamford Hospital Pathologist is present to help make sure that the best possible specimen is obtained, and that the material obtained is triaged in such a way as to assure the diagnosis and secure additional testing needed for treatment. A Pathologist immediately evaluates your biopsy at the time of your procedure.

Stamford Hospital is the only hospital in CT with two Fellowship trained Cytopathologists. These physicians specialize in Cytopathology, and are expert in evaluating small biopsies.

Lung cancers are varied, and the determination of lung cancer type depends on immunohistochemistry (sophisticated tissue testing using antibodies directed at tumor proteins). This sophisticated testing is done at the Stamford Hospital Laboratory, which has the most state-of-the-art immunohistochemistry lab in Fairfield County.

Once a diagnosis of lung cancer is made and the type is established, the tumor is interrogated by more sophisticated molecular pathology tests. We routinely test lung adenocarcinomas for EGFR, Kras, ALK, ROS because these tests determine the kind of drugs/chemotherapy a lung adenocarcinoma will respond to. Stamford Hospital has the only Molecular Pathologist in Fairfield County, who is skilled in evaluating this sophisticated testing.

Medical Oncology

Our Department of Medical Oncology-Hematology includes physicians who specialize in lung cancer. If you need systemic medication, your medical oncologist will review available options with you, including possible clinical research trials. Because we understand how complex the biology of lung cancer can be, here’s a simple check-list of what you can expect:

  • Your physician will explain why a particular chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy approach has been selected, and, in a follow up visit with a Nurse Practitioner, we’ll make sure you have a full understanding.
  • We’ll prepare your therapy in an on-site dedicated oncology pharmacy, administered by our Oncology Certified Nurses.
  • We pay special attention to your emotional, spiritual, and palliative needs. We’re happy to extend our Palliative Care and Social Work services through your challenging time.
  • As always, we’re available at all times to answer questions, resolve problems, and provide support.
Learn more about medical oncology

Radiation Oncology

Stamford Hospital is the only facility in Westchester and Fairfield counties to offer robotic stereotactic radiation with CyberKnife for selected patients with lung cancer. For these patients, treatments are completed in 3-5 days with extreme precision and maximal sparing of normal tissues. For other patients not eligible for CyberKnife therapy, conventional state of the art conformal radiation techniques are used at the Bennett Cancer Center. High precision radiation therapy administered with compassion for our patients and their loved ones is our top priority. Radiation therapy is given five days a week, for five to seven consecutive weeks. The convenience of receiving treatment close to home minimizes the impact on patients’ and their families.

Learn more about radiation oncology

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Your Lung Care

In an effort to constantly improve your care, our team at Stamford Health holds a Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Conference twice a month. A group of physicians, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and pulmonologists reviews your unique case in detail. This allows us to collectively offer the most efficient care plan for everyone going forward.


Recognitions

Lung Cancer Alliance logoThe Bennett Cancer Center is recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance. This recognition represents our ongoing commitment to responsible screenings for patients.