Lung & Thoracic Cancer Care

Advanced technology and experienced experts in a caring environment

Lung Cancer Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham  

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. With screenings and better treatments, however, lung cancer survival rates are improving.

At BID Needham, we have a comprehensive lung cancer program. It includes screening, state-of-the-art thoracic surgery for lung cancer, as well as support services designed to ease your path as you navigate through diagnosis and recovery.

When you’re looking for expert, compassionate lung cancer care, look no further than BID Needham.

Cancers We Treat  

Our team includes highly trained and experienced thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Together, our skills and expertise allow us to diagnose and treat a variety of cancers:

  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Lung cancer — These include small cell lung cancers and non-small cell lung cancers.
  • Mediastinal tumors — These occur in the compartment between your lungs. 
  • Thymic tumors — These cancers start in your thymus gland. It’s an immune system organ that sits in front of, and just above, your heart.
  • Tumors of the pleura — The pleura is the area of tissue that covers your lungs and tissue that lines your chest wall. 

You also can rely on us for care of less common types of cancers affecting the chest, as well as cancer that starts somewhere else in your body but spreads to your lungs or chest cavity.

Screening, Diagnosis and Symptoms

Screening may help you find cancer before you have symptoms. With early detection, many cancers are easier to treat. Lung cancer screening may be especially helpful if you’re at high-risk for the disease.

There are no well-established screening tests for most other thoracic cancers. But if your doctor believes you should be checked, we offer complete diagnostic services.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Because you can develop lung cancer even if you’re not at high risk, it’s important to recognize symptoms of the disease. These may include:

  • Chest pain.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Persistent or worsening cough.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Wheezing.
Esophageal Cancer Symptoms

Possible signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:

  • Bleeding into the esophagus.
  • Chest pain.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Ongoing cough.
  • Swallowing difficulty.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weight loss.

These health changes may be signs of other illnesses, perhaps not related to cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away.

Treating Lung and Thoracic Cancer

Our team works together to plan the cancer treatment that will be best for you. We consider a number of factors, such as:

  • The extent of your cancer (whether it’s confined to one location or has spread to other areas).
  • The type of cancer you have.
  • Your anatomy and the shape and size of your tumor.
  • Your overall health.
  • Your response to initial therapies.

Often, doctors recommend some combination of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Advanced Surgical Care

Depending on your needs, we may coordinate your care with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston. There, we offer:

  • Minimally invasive esophagectomy – This procedure may be an option if you have cancer in your esophagus near the area where it joins your stomach. Your surgeon removes your cancer then reconstructs your esophagus using part of your stomach. This procedure uses small incisions in your abdomen and chest and eliminates the need to spread your ribs. Compared to open surgery, it may be less painful and result in an easier recovery.
  • Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) or robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) – These procedures treat lung cancer. They use smaller incisions than a traditional open procedure and don’t require spreading your ribs apart. As a result, you’re likely to have better pain control and a quicker recovery.
Cyberknife Expertise

Our team is among the most experienced in Massachusetts in using the Cyberknife stereotactic radiosurgery system to treat cancers in your chest. It’s offered at BIDMC. Cyberknife delivers focused, high-intensity radiation to treat small and hard-to-reach cancerous areas.

We’re Here to Support You 

In addition to directly treating your cancer, we also provide support services to help you and your family. From diagnosis through treatment and survivorship, we’re at your side.

Services & Specialties

Our cancer care team works with other specialists throughout BID Needham to ensure continuity of care for all your needs.

Make an Appointment

To speak with a member of our cancer care team, please call.