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Thoracic & Esophageal Cancer

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Esophageal Cancer & Thoracic Cancer

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center is leading the fight against thoracic cancer. With advanced technologies and experience, we develop personalized treatment plans for patients with esophageal cancer, lung cancer or other cancers of the chest.

A multidisciplinary approach to care focuses the expertise of physicians from a wide range of specialties. Our highly trained and experienced team includes:

  • Medical oncologists: physicians who specialize in cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Radiation oncologists: doctors who specialize in using radiation to treat cancer
  • Thoracic surgeons: surgeons focused on providing surgical treatment for diseases affecting organs inside the chest
  • Pulmonologists: lung and breathing specialists
  • Gastroenterologists: digestive system experts

Patients benefit from comprehensive, compassionate care that begins during an individual’s first visit and continues throughout his or her treatment and recovery.

Advanced, Comprehensive Cancer Care

From diagnosis, through treatment and long-term management, every UH Seidman Cancer Center resource is focused on equipping patients with the advanced tools they need to defeat cancer. Services include:

  • Digital imaging technologies
  • An experienced, cancer-specific laboratory and pathology team committed to scientific advancement
  • Leading-edge noninvasive surgery options
  • Advanced medication, radiation, biological, hormone and alternative treatments
  • Support groups and wellness programs

Advanced Treatment Options

When surgery is recommended, we use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. For example, 75 percent of the surgical procedures we perform on the lobes of the lung are completed using minimally invasive methods.

Our surgeons operate using sophisticated thoracoscopy. The incisions are small, just large enough for tiny video-controlled surgical instruments to enter. By eliminating large, traditional incisions in many cases, laparoscopic surgery results in less pain, reduced scarring and faster recoveries.

One specialized form of this type of surgery is known as VATS or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. UH Seidman Cancer Center is one of only a few hospitals in the region using VATS for thoracic cancers. VATS is used to:

  • Diagnose suspicious lung masses
  • Remove malignant and benign tumors
  • Remove portions of a diseased lung
  • Diagnose and treat cancers of the esophagus

Because it minimizes stress to the body, VATS is often a better option for elderly or frail patients, or for those with complex, underlying medical issues.

Proven Leadership in the Fight Against Cancer

At UH Seidman Cancer Center, five-year survival rates have exceeded the national average for more than 20 years.

Our center is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top cancer centers in the U.S. It is also one of only two comprehensive cancer centers in Ohio, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

A History of Breakthroughs in Lung Cancer Care

UH Seidman Cancer Center remains at the forefront of treatment, screening and prevention of lung cancer. Our history of leadership in cancer research includes extensive lung cancer studies. For example, our clinical researchers discovered a mutation that predicted patient response to targeted therapy.

A University Hospitals physician co-chaired the largest national study used to prove the value of targeted therapy to treat lung cancer. It was the first lung cancer breakthrough in over a decade.

Our clinical researchers also discovered a promising, novel biomarker to predict the survival of patients with advanced lung cancer. Recently, UH physicians reported on a long-term study of lung cancer patients confirming the importance of ongoing surveillance.