November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month!

Experienced Lung Cancer Care in Fredericksburg Region

A significant advance in diagnosing lung cancer has occurred in recent years. The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NLST) was a national project to determine if CT scans would provide a better way to detect early stage lung cancer than the traditional x-ray. The study proved conclusively that low-dose CT scan is a superior screening tool.

To determine if you have lung cancer, your physician may also order the following tests:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Sputum cytology
  • Needle biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • MRI, PET, or bone scans

Chemotherapy for Lung Cancer

Chemotherapy is designed to provide interference with a cancer cell’s growth and reproduction. Oncologists recommend individualized treatment plans for patients, depending on the drugs effect I fighting cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used alone, or before or after other treatments.

Radiation Therapy for Lung Cancer

High-energy radiation is used to shrink tumors and eliminate cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy for lung cancer treatment.

There are two ways to deliver radiation therapy:

  • External radiation (external beam therapy)
  • Internal radiation (brachytherapy, implant radiation)

Surgery for Lung Cancer

The Regional Cancer Center’s Lung cancer program is managed by J. Timothy Sherwood, MD, one of the leading thoracic surgeons in the United States. An associate professor for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Sherwood has a dedicated thoracic practice in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is also the director of our Thoracic Surgery program. He treats patients from across the country, who are referred to the Regional Cancer Center for the most advanced surgeries, many of which require additional skill to perform. This makes the Regional Cancer Center’s lung cancer program one of the truly unique programs of its kind.

Dr. Sherwood has a special surgical team and operates exclusively at Mary Washington Hospital, a tertiary-care medical center with large surgical suites to accommodate specialized surgical teams and equipment. We also have dedicated services for post-surgical care for lung cancer.

VATS Procedures

Dr. Sherwood uses a state-of-the-art technique known as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) that enables the surgeon to see and work inside the chest with very small incisions and special instruments. A small telescope, called a thoracoscope, is inserted through one incision to capture a clear image of the operating area. Dr. Sherwood views this image on a video screen while performing the procedure using specialized surgical instruments inserted into the chest through other tiny incisions. VATS has dramatically changed thoracic surgery by eliminating the need for completely opening the chest in many procedures.

Types of Surgery:

  • Segmental or wedge resection
  • Lobectomy
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Sleeve resection

We are here to help

For more information or to talk with a Cancer Nurse Navigator, please call 540.741.1211.

Our Cancer Nurse Navigators can help with:

  • Answering questions and providing educational materials on cancer and specific types of cancer
  • Explaining your diagnosis and treatment, every step of the way
  • Emotional support, including one-on-one time, and recommendations for counseling services
  • Expedited scheduling and coordinating of diagnostic test and physician appointments
  • Coordination on your plan of care between your primary care and oncology physicians
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Recommendations on resources for nutrition, rehabilitation, transportation, support groups, financial assistance, and spiritual and emotional guidance
  • Making important connections with community support services and resources
  • Survivorship support

For more information, or to talk with a Cancer Nurse Navigator, please call 540.741.1211.