A growing number of people in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia regions are being diagnosed with lesions, also called nodules, on their lungs.
Because lung nodules can be a sign of lung cancer, it’s important to determine early on whether they are cancerous. Lung cancers diagnosed at earlier stages can be treated much more effectively than cancers caught later.
Am I at Risk for Lung Cancer?
Early signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Coughing, especially if you cough up blood or mucus
- Fever or night sweats
- Inability to clear your throat
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
Other factors can put you at risk, such as:
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Personal or family history of lung cancer
- Exposure to radon, asbestos and diesel exhaust
Ballad Health’s Lung Nodule Program
Through early diagnosis and treatment, this program was built to help you beat lung cancer and reverse this upward trend.
By providing quick access to a team of Ballad Health specialists, we can catch, treat and monitor potential problem spots as early as possible.
To ensure lung cancer is detected early and patients are well cared for throughout their treatment and recovery, the program offers many benefits:
- A dedicated lung nodule navigator, who works with patients and physicians to coordinate every aspect of care*
- Immediate assessment, diagnosis and recommendations
- Patient education and support – before, during and after diagnosis
- State-of-the-art diagnostics, including low-dose CT and electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (see below) for early detection
- A team approach to care featuring providers across several medical fields: pulmonologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons and lung navigators
- Breakthrough radiation oncology technology, such as CyberKnife, TrueBeam and Trilogy robotic radiosurgery systems
- Ongoing communication with referring providers
- Smoking cessation assistance
*The dedicated lung nodule navigator is a critical part of this program. They not only help schedule patient appointments, including necessary diagnostic testing, they also strive to keep patients informed, educated and involved in the process every step of the way. Based on test findings, the navigator also leads the care team in designing a personalized treatment plan for each patient.
What Is Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy?
By solely using traditional diagnostic techniques, nearly 75 percent of lung cancers go undetected until they reach Stage III or Stage IV.
With electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy, we’re able to detect lung cancer and lung disease earlier, even before symptoms are evident.
How It Works
Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy uses GPS-like technology to create a three-dimensional virtual roadmap of the lungs. This map helps physicians guide a set of catheters through the lungs’ most complex airways.
This proactive diagnosis improves cure and survival rates and also enhances patients’ treatment options.
Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy is safer than traditional bronchoscopy.
It’s also an option for patients who suffer from poor lung function or have had cancer surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Length of Stay
At Holston Valley Medical Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center, electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy is performed in an outpatient setting – most patients return home the same day as the procedure.