Beaumont Hospital, Trenton has opened a new Lung Nodule Clinic to provide early diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of abnormal pulmonary nodules, which may be an early sign of lung cancer or indicate that another cancer is spreading throughout the body.
The Trenton facility is Beaumont Health’s fifth lunch nodule clinic, where services include:
- Annual low-dose screenings for lung cancer
- A nurse navigator
- Prompt communication with the patient’s primary care physician
- Immediate patient consultation and treatment options for any lung cancer diagnosis
The sometimes non-cancerous nodules often are discovered as a result of CT scans or chest X-rays for other health conditions. A pulmonary nodule is a round or oval shaped growth in the lung, sometimes referred to as a lesion or spot on the lung.
“It can take weeks or months for a patient with an abnormal scan to come to the first diagnostic stage,” says Dr. Hazlem Raslan, pulmonologist and medical co-director of the Trenton clinic. “Our clinic’s state-of-the-art technology can dramatically accelerate the diagnostic process.”
The clinic’s technology allows the medical team to do a real-time evaluation inside the lung. It aids in diagnosing early stage nodules that may be cancerous.
Causes of lung nodules include tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis – an inflammation that affects multiple organs including the lungs and lymph nodes, and cancer. Fungal infections also have been linked to the appearance of lung nodules.
“The size and shape make a difference,” says Dr. Abdulrazak Alchakaki, pulmonologist and clinic’s other medical co-director. “Smaller nodules may require monitoring, but larger nodules could result in a biopsy.”
When lung nodules are identified, a nurse navigator will begin communicating with the patient and his or her primary care physician, followed by a consultation with a pulmonologist.
“We work together to guide the patient through the recommended next steps, which could involve treatment by a team of physicians, including thoracic and pulmonary specialists,” Raslan explains.
The multidisciplinary lung nodule clinic includes pulmonologists, oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists, who are also involved with the tumor board. The tumor board reviews individual cases and imaging studies. They discuss alternate treatment options and talk about clinical trials for which the patient may be eligible.
Current smokers, especially those who have been smoking for many years, or people with a history of cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease are at a higher risk of lung nodules. They should be screened annually.
“In about 15 minutes, a dedicated, low-dose CT scan can cover the entire chest and provide a more detailed look than a standard chest X-ray,” says Alchakaki.
To make an appointment at the new Beaumont, Trenton Lung Nodule Clinic, call 877-805-8647.