First Lung Nodule Center in the University Hospitals System Will Expedite Care for Patients
Lung nodules detected on chest X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, such as coronary calcium scoring, will receive expedited care through the new Lung Nodule Center at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. The center, located within UH Parma’s Community Care Clinic in Medical Arts Center 1, Suite 205, will ensure that patients are seen quickly and continually tracked to receive follow-up care.
Lung nodules, which show as a white spot or shadow on a CT scan, are typically too small to cause pain or breathing problems. They are detected in up to half of all adults who get a chest X-ray or CT scan, according to the American Thoracic Society. Lung nodules may be caused by scar tissue, a healed infection, or other irritants. Fewer than 5 percent of all nodules turn out to be cancer, and even in these cases, the cancer is often in early stages. Cancer is more likely in patients who are older or have a history of smoking or other cancer risk.
The Lung Nodule Center at UH Parma allows patients expedited access to the highest-quality academic care in the heart of our community,” says James Hill, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer at UH Parma Medical Center.
The first of its kind in the UH system, the Lung Nodule Center is overseen by medical directors Basel Altaqi, MD, and Daniel Iltchev, MD. Special appointment openings will be reserved for these patients to ensure that they are seen within a week of discovery of a lung nodule. Certified nurse practitioner Lynda Boldt, CNP, will initially evaluate each patient, then refer them to the appropriate specialist, such as a pulmonologist for bronchoscopy, interventional radiology for biopsy or additional scanning, or thoracic surgeon Christopher Towe, MD, for removal.
The Lung Nodule Center has established a lung nodule registry to track these patients and ensure follow-up. Patients will continue to be seen by their regular primary care providers for all other medical care.
Boldt notes that an estimated 50,000 patients across the region have lung nodules that are not necessarily tracked and treated. Through this registry, she will be able to determine the right practitioner to follow up for treatment based on the nodule’s size, location and characteristics. Risk factors such as smoking and a family history of cancer also are considered.