Thoracic Oncology Clinic

Memorial Hospital's Thoracic Oncology Clinic helps treat cancer patients faster

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 160,000 people die each year from lung cancer in the U.S. And every week, 78 Hoosiers die from the disease. This is why it’s highly critical for people to confirm diagnosis and begin treatment as early as possible.

Memorial Regional Cancer Center opened the Thoracic Oncology Clinic—the first of its kind in the region––to dramatically speed up the diagnosis and treatment for people affected by lung cancer or other thoracic malignancies. Once a week at the Cancer Center, a team of specialists––a thoracic surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist and a pulmonary medicine specialist––gather to assess each patient’s case to confirm diagnosis. The group works together with the patient to coordinate a comprehensive care plan.

"With the multidisciplinary approach, there is much better efficiency, communication and collaboration, which all leads to faster and better treatment," says David Hornback, M.D., medical director of Memorial Radiation Oncology and Thoracic Oncology Clinic team member.

"Cancer patients feel the clock is ticking for them and their families once the word ‘cancer’ is used," says James Kelly, M.D., a thoracic surgeon with the Thoracic Oncology Clinic. "So by placing patients in an environment where the testing and consulting revolves around them, the information gap is shortened to a time period of 48 to 72 hours from a situation which used to take 2½ weeks at a minimum."

The Clinic Will See the Following Patients:

  • Those with a confirmed diagnosis of lung cancer or other thoracic malignancy
  • Those with a mass or suspicious finding on their chest x-ray or physical exam, especially those from high-risk populations (smokers)
  • Those seeking a second opinion
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cancer treatment today.