Patients undergoing lung cancer treatment are under the care of a variety of medical providers who specialize in cancer of the thoracic region. Most patients start with their primary care doctor, where they may report symptoms like chest pain, coughing up blood or unexplained weight loss, leading their physician to order specific imaging tests. From there, if the tests provide abnormal results, the physician will refer the patient to a pulmonologist for further evaluation.
What does a pulmonologist do?
A pulmonologist specializes in diagnosing and treating lung diseases, including lung cancer. They can assist with lung biopsies to determine if cancer cells are present as well as stage the cancer for treatment purposes. A pulmonologist will also help patients who are having respiratory issues due to lung cancer.
Lung cancer patients also work with many other medical specialists throughout their treatment, including:
- Medical oncologists who determine the appropriate chemotherapy treatment and administer it
- Radiation oncologists who develop radiation therapy plans with the aim of targeting the tumor cells while sparing as much of the surrounding healthy tissue as possible
- Thoracic surgeons who surgically remove chest tumors, using minimally invasive and/or robot-assisted techniques when appropriate
Treating lung cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our lung cancer patients benefit from being under the care of a multispecialty team of lung specialists, including pulmonologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and thoracic surgeons. Our patients also receive assistance from pathologists, pain management specialists and supportive care specialists to ensure every part of their journey is taken care of, from the physical to the emotional. These specialists have regular tumor board meetings to discuss their patients’ cases and develop tailored treatment plans.
Moffitt Cancer Center has been designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute due to our groundbreaking therapies, as our patients benefit from a wide range of treatment options, such as photodynamic therapy, radiofrequency ablation and clinical trials.