• Thoracic Oncology

  • Our thoracic oncology program integrates the most up-to-date technology with dedicated physician specialists and non-physician support in order to improve outcomes and minimize delays in evaluation and treatment of patients with possible chest cancers. In fact, care navigation and improved collaboration have resulted in reduction in the time of first contact to treatment from 45 days in 2009, to 20 days in late 2011.

    Our use of minimally invasive surgery has decreased the average postoperative length of stay for lobectomy (removal of one lobe of the lung-the index case for thoracic surgery) from 7.35 days in 2006 to 3.85 days in 2010. 

    The thoracic oncology group is supported by excellent nursing and research staff who help maintain continuity and quality of care, as well as coordinate trial enrollment.

    We are the only institution in southern Colorado that offers a full-range of care for thoracic oncology patients. This experienced surgical team can care for patients with lung cancer, as well as complex problems of the trachea, esophagus and mediastinum.

    For more information call us at 719-776-6111.

  • The Pulmonary Lung Nodule Clinic the Penrose Cancer Center is designed to eliminate or minimize delays in evaluation and treatment of patients with possible chest cancers including suspected lungesophagealmediastinal and other thoracic cancers. We strive to identify these possible cancers early when they are most treatable.

    Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women. It is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually. Up to one-fourth of all people with lung cancer may have no symptoms when the cancer is diagnosed. These cancers usually are identified incidentally when a chest X-ray is performed for another reason.

    What is a Pulmonary Nodule?
    A mass, or nodule, on the lung can be a scary discovery. Lung nodules, which are often found on a chest X-ray, can be early indicators of cancer, infection or other lung diseases. Because chest X-rays help to identify such a wide variety of lung disorders, lung nodules must be thoroughly evaluated, diagnosed and treated appropriately.  Even if the nodule presents no current threat, it must be regularly monitored for any change.

    Diagnosis
    There are several ways to determine whether or not a nodule or mass is cancer. One of the Penrose Cancer Center's premier diagnostic tools is the superDimension® In Reach™ Electromagnetic Navigation system. This is a minimally-invasive procedure performed by our pulmonologists uses technology similar to GPS (Global Positioning System) to guide the physician through patients' airways and take tissue samples in regions previously unreachable. This leading-edge technology, available nowhere else in Colorado Springs, provides for a more accurate diagnosis.

    Your Team
    The Pulmonary Nodule clinic consists of a team of expert pulmonologists and a thoracic nurse who will guide you through the treatment process after the discovery of a lung nodule or mass. If the nodule proves to be something serious, the Penrose Cancer Center brings together pathologists, radiologists, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, clinical trials experts and oncology nurses to formulate an individualized diagnosis and/or treatment plan for each patient. The goal of this multidisciplinary approach is to achieve seamless clinical care, access to the latest therapies, faster translation of research discoveries into clinical practice and increased patient satisfaction.   

    Contact Us
    Any patient with an abnormal chest -ray or other lung concerns can be referred to the Pulmonary Lung Nodule Clinic. Call the Thoracic Patient Navigator, Patty O'Connell, RN, at (719) 776-6997.

    The superDimension® navigational bronchoscope extends the reach of the bronchoscope to regions deep within the lung, enabling physicians to locate small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. The system uses natural airway access, minimizing the need for more invasive, surgical procedures to access lung lesions in the distant regions of the lung. One of the reasons the Penrose Cancer Center uses the superDimension® is because it also provides the ability to detect lung disease and lung cancer earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.
  • Dr. Theolyn Price

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