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    Lung Nodule / Lung Cancer Program

    2351 Clay Street, Suite 501
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    415-923-3421

    Directions & maps to our facilities

    About Lung Cancer

    Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide and accounts for more deaths than breast, colon, and prostate cancers COMBINED. In 2007, lung cancer accounted for nearly 160,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.

    Lung cancer is often first discovered as a lung nodule on chest x-ray or CT scan. However, not all lung nodules are due to lung cancer.

    Comprehensive Team Approach to Care

    • We have a team of pulmonary physicians specializing in lung nodule evaluation and diagnosis.
    • We are key participants in CPMC Lung Nodule Tumor Board which is co-founded and co-chaired by Dr. Benson Chen.
      • This is a weekly multidisciplinary conference attended by Pulmonologists, Radiologists, Thoracic Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, and Radiation Oncologists to discuss best approaches to diagnose lung nodules and treat lung cancer.
    • We collaborate closely with other CPMC physicians to provide the most advanced, least invasive procedures to diagnose and treat lung cancer, including bronchoscopy with endobronchial ultrasound guided needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy, CT guided needle aspiration, video assisted thoracoscopic surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and spray cryotherapy.
    • We also have ongoing research collaborations with Stanford University and Integrated Diagnostics to develop serum biomarkers for early detection of lung cancer.

    Lung Cancer Screening

    For most patients, lung cancer is already at an advanced stage when first detected and cannot be cured. Low dose CT screening can detect lung cancer at earlier stages in high risk patients and decrease risk of death from lung cancer by 20%.

    Who should consider lung cancer screening?

    • 1) Adults age 55 or greater and 2) tobacco use > 30 pack year history (1 pack per day or more for at least 30 years)
    OR
    • ´╗┐1) Adults age 50 or greater, 2) tobacco use > 20 pack year history, and 3) additional risk factor such as history of cancer, family history of lung cancer, occupational exposure to carcinogens (ie. asbestos, diesel fumes), radon exposure, COPD, or pulmonary fibrosis
    Benefits:
    • The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) studied over 50,000 patients at high risk for lung cancer across 33 U.S. medical centers. Patients were randomized to lung cancer screening with yearly low dose CT versus chest X-ray for 2 years.
      • CT screening decreased the rate of death from lung cancer by 20% and the rate of death from any cause by 6.7%.
    Risks:
    • Almost 25% of high risk patients have abnormalities on screening CT, but only 3-4% of these abnormalities are due to lung cancer. Many patients undergo unnecessary tests and invasive procedures for abnormalities that are not due to lung cancer.
    For high risk patients, low-dose CT screening is effective in reducing death from lung cancer. However, the process can be confusing and complicated. As pulmonary physicians specializing in lung nodule evaluation, we have the expertise and experience to guide you through this challenging process to obtain the best outcome.

    Meet the Team