Lung cancer diagnostic multispecialty team

A team that is there for you throughout your diagnostic journey.

When you are referred to our diagnostic clinic, you will have a dedicated team that conducts thorough screenings and tests, enabling us to provide you with the most conclusive results. It is important to remember that being introduced to our multispecialty team (MST) does not automatically indicate a cancer diagnosis, but rather signifies an opportunity for a more comprehensive evaluation of your screenings and tests.

The purpose of your diagnostic MST.

The primary goal of our diagnostic MST team is to provide comprehensive lung screening and tests. Our team works together to ensure an accurate and timely diagnosis, which is important for determining appropriate treatment options. The team assesses various aspects such as clinical symptoms, imaging results, and pathology findings to reach a conclusive diagnosis.

Additional tests and biopsies your diagnostic MST may conduct.

To rule out or confirm lung cancer, your MST diagnostic team may recommend additional tests or procedures to gather more information and make a diagnosis. These can include:

  • Imaging tests: Imaging techniques like computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET) scans can help assess the size, location, and spread of masses.
  • Bronchoscopy: This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into the airways to visualize any abnormalities and collect tissue samples (biopsies) for further examination.
  • Needle biopsy: A needle is guided into the lung nodule or mass to extract tissue samples for analysis. This can be done with the guidance of imaging techniques like CT scans or ultrasound.
  • Surgical biopsy: In some cases, a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove a portion or the entire tumor for examination.

The choice of additional tests or biopsies depends on the specific characteristic of the suspected lung cancer, its location, and the patient’s overall health.

While everyone may have a different screening experience, regular communication with your providers is crucial throughout the screening process to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Understanding who is a part of your MST.

Your diagnostic multispecialty team will be made up of specialists in diagnostics and testing. These may include:

  • Nurses and Doctors: The specialists who will conduct the screening and tests needed.
  • Pulmonologist Nurse Coordinator: The person who coordinates care for your diagnostic appointments.

Doctor in blue scrubs with surgical cap leaning down and speaking with patient in bed

Questions to ask during your appointment.

Having the right questions to ask your provider can help you feel more prepared during your visits. We’ve put together some suggestions to help you get the conversation started with your MST:

  • Which tests do you recommend for me and what will they show?
  • How long will the tests take and are there any preparations I need to make beforehand?

  • How soon can I expect to receive the results of these tests, and how will I be notified?

  • What should I do while waiting for my test results and next steps?

  • Are there any lifestyle factors I can change to help reduce my risk?
  • Will I need to repeat any of these tests in the future?

  • Who can help me with support and resources are available to me if I need them during this process?

Remember, it is important to have open communication with your providers throughout the process, so don’t hesitate to ask any additional questions that come to mind.

We’re here for you throughout your MST referral journey.

The process and timing for MST referrals will vary depending on your individual circumstances. In general, you’ll be guided through the following steps:

  • Initial screening: When a patient is identified as being at risk or shows symptoms suggestive of lung cancer, they undergo an initial screening.
  • Referral to MST diagnostic team: If the initial screening indicates a potential lung cancer, the patient is referred to the MST diagnostic team for further evaluation.

  • Comprehensive evaluation: The team performs a detailed assessment, which may include additional imaging tests, biopsies, and consultation among members to establish a diagnosis.

A personalized smoking cessation plan.

Your diagnostic MST team will also be able to help you with creating an individualized plan for smoking cessation.

  • Smoking cessation program: Our cancer center smoking cessation program allows you to meet one-on-one with a nurse practitioner who is a certified tobacco treatment specialist. Most insurance providers cover this service, but it is best to contact your insurance company directly to confirm coverage.
  • Free tobacco and nicotine treatment services: There are programs available for all stages of readiness and on an ongoing basis. All classes are conducted virtually through Microsoft Teams.

Understanding Preventive Screenings

Preventive lung cancer screenings can detect cancer early and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.