Early detection and timely treatment are key to beating or living with lung and thoracic cancers. Because every day counts, we help you review and understand your options quickly. Our compassionate care team provides in-depth expertise, and your care team will be with you every step of the way so you can begin treatment within days after cancer is detected.
Collaborative Care with National Jewish Health
Saint Joseph Hospital and National Jewish Health have formed a joint operating agreement to provide inpatient and outpatient care in Colorado. National Jewish Health is the leading national respiratory hospital, and this collaborative care model brings together two leading healthcare organizations when it comes to treating lung and thoracic cancers. The strong outpatient approach and specialty expertise of National Jewish Health complements the focused inpatient expertise of Saint Joseph Hospital, increasing our ability to help you at all stages of your care.
Screening and Diagnosis
Cancers of the thoracic (chest) region include lung, esophageal, thymus and mesothelioma, with lung cancer being the most common. Because these diseases are challenging to treat, it’s important to visit your doctor for regular exams as part of your preventive healthcare and to share any concerns, no matter how small they seem. This is especially true if you have a history of smoking or other high-risk health or family history.
Your doctor will refer you to our advanced imaging services and may order additional tests to help with a diagnosis, such as an endoscopy procedure or a biopsy. A pathologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing disease, will look at your cell samples to identify the presence of cancer and determine the type of cancer you have.
Your case is unique, which means your treatment plan will be designed around your needs. Every week, a team of specialists meets to discuss cancer cases and collaborate on the best treatment for each patient. You benefit from the combined expertise of specialists in radiology, surgery, pathology, pharmacology and oncology and therapists in fields like physical therapy and psychology.
Your recommended treatment will be based on best practices that have worked for other patients, specific aspects of your cancer/tumor, the results of all your tests, the stage of your cancer and your personal preferences.
Innovative techniques and technologies
Our accredited cancer program offers several types of pulmonary techniques and technologies designed to support your care needs. Some options could include:
- Robotic Bronchoscopy Program – Saint Joseph Hospital and National Jewish Health are among the first hospitals in the Rocky Mountain region to have minimally invasive robotic technology. This program allows for physicians to obtain tissue samples from deep within the lungs at a far greater success rate than older technologies.
- Minimally invasive surgical technology – A surgical technique that uses smaller and more precise surgical incisions instead of one large opening. By reducing the trauma to the body, patients typically have quicker recovery times and less discomfort.
- Radiation oncology targeting - Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), can be used to treat tumors in almost any part of the body, including the lungs.
- Respiratory gating – This technology allows for continuous monitoring of tumor movement (for example, during breathing) so radiation treatment can be delivered at exactly the right moment. When the tumor moves outside of the target field, the radiation beam automatically turns off.
By leveraging the clinical trials and research done at National Jewish Health, we’re able to give you greater access to high-quality, innovative care and the latest research findings. Clinical trials are the final stage of research programs that develop new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. They determine whether new treatments are safe and effective and work better than current available treatments. Most of the treatments used today are the results of past clinical trials. Learn more about Clinical Trials.
Care and Support
Our cancer care teams know that great care is the result of seamless communication between you, your family and your existing healthcare providers. When you have this kind of collaboration, you can expect a more efficient, effective and tailored approach to meeting your individual needs.
Lung cancer nurse navigators
One of your key team members is your nurse navigator, who serves as a patient educator and care guide focused on improving your cancer treatment experience. Your nurse navigator will assist you at every stage, help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options and coordinate care between your physician, surgeon and other support teams.
Life beyond lung cancer
With better detection methods and treatment options, more patients are surviving cancer than ever before. Our survivorship program gives you access to specialists who partner with you for your post-treatment. This program focuses on nutritional goals, healthy living and emotional well-being. We’ll also help you set up regular medical checkups with your primary doctor to prevent, detect and manage any complications related to your cancer or cancer treatment. Because you may be at higher risk for second cancers, screening and surveillance are essential to your long-term health.