Lung nodules are abnormal clusters of tissue that appear as “spots” on imaging tests. These spots are very common and 95% of lung nodules are not cancer.
Since all lung cancers start as a nodule, the challenge is determining which nodules are or will become cancer. Some lung nodules may only require surveillance and routine follow-up by a pulmonologist. Early detection is crucial to achieving the best outcomes.
Summa Health has developed a specialized Lung Nodule Clinic with a dedicated team of experts who can handle everything along the continuum of lung care including:
Lung cancer screenings
Rapid evaluation of nodules
Multidisciplinary approach to lung cancer treatment
We know that the time between lung nodule detection to diagnosis is very stressful. Most lung nodules only need ongoing monitoring while others may require immediate next steps.
Expedited appointments for patients with nodules that are concerning for lung cancer and are recommended to have immediate follow-up testing.
Continued follow-up for smaller lung nodules that need ongoing surveillance to make sure your nodules are not "lost to follow up."
Continued surveillance for patients who have had prior curative treatment for lung cancer, but need ongoing surveillance.
During your Lung Nodule Clinic Appointment:
You will meet with a pulmonologist (lung specialist) and/or a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Your physician will use evidence-based guidelines to determine follow-up recommendations.
You may meet with a navigator to assist with coordinating and expediting your care.
Your team will connect you with resources for tobacco cessation counseling, nutrition support, and financial support if needed.
Patients with nodules that are concerning for malignancy will have their case reviewed at our weekly multidisciplinary thoracic conference. During this conference, all diagnostic information is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team including pulmonologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, navigators, and dietitians. This review is like getting multiple second opinions at once.
Your primary care physician/referring provider will be informed of your plans for follow-up.