Get to Know Your Lung Cancer Care Team

Lung cancer team at Johns Hopkins

The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center offers comprehensive care to diagnose and treat lung cancers. We offer a multidisciplinary clinic that allows patients to see multiple providers, receive education and be presented with a treatment plan, all in a single visit to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Who’s Who on Your Lung Cancer Care Team

Our team offers specialized care by experts who are dedicated to treating lung cancer, including pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, as well as a dedicated nurse navigator who triages phone calls and helps arrange appointments as soon as possible.

“Because lung cancer requires care that typically involves each specialty at some point, every doctor in the lung cancer program is talking daily, coordinating care for new and existing patients,” says Richard Battafarano, a board-certified thoracic surgeon and leader of thoracic surgery in the Lung Cancer Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Physicians on your care team include:

  • Medical oncologist: A medical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer with drugs, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted cancer therapy, as well as new, emerging therapies in clinical trials. This person will be your main health care provider during your cancer treatment.

  • Thoracic (chest) surgeon: A thoracic surgeon is a doctor who performs surgery to remove cancer from the lungs and surrounding parts of the chest. Your care team will work together to decide if surgery is a possible treatment for you. If it is, your surgeon may discuss surgical options, including minimally invasive surgery or traditional surgery, to remove the cancer.

  • Radiation oncologist: A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation therapy, which is often used in combination with other treatments, like chemotherapy, targeted therapy or surgery.

  • Pulmonologist: A pulmonologist is a doctor who has advanced training in diagnosing and treating lung and respiratory problems using less invasive interventional pulmonology techniques, such as using flexible tubes inserted into your throat to look at your lungs.

Other health specialists on your care team:

  • Oncology nurse: An oncology nurse has additional training in providing care for patients with cancer. He or she performs physical exams, takes health histories, keeps track of diagnostic tests, gives medications, answers questions about diagnosis and treatment, and helps coordinate all aspects of a patient’s care and treatment.

  • Palliative care specialist: A palliative care specialist helps patients manage the symptoms and side effects of lung cancer, including pain, nausea and fatigue. He or she helps improve quality of life and overall well-being during treatment.

  • Oncology social worker: An oncology social worker has experience coordinating support services for patients with lung cancer and their families. He or she offers assistance in navigating needs related to health insurance, finances, child care and more.

  • Dietician: A dietician with expertise in cancer care helps patients create an eating plan that meets their nutritional needs while minimizing the side effects of cancer treatments, such as problems with digestion.

Team Approach to Your Lung Cancer Care

At Johns Hopkins, your treatment starts the moment you’re diagnosed with lung cancer. Our team of specialists offers the full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment all in one setting at the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic. Here, you and your loved ones can ask questions, meet our team, understand your treatment options and learn more about lung cancer. But the collaboration doesn’t stop there. As you undergo treatment, your care team meets weekly to discuss all aspects of your treatment, helping you and your family manage your lung cancer.

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