Brooklyn, NY (November 7, 2014) – The team of specialists who treat lung cancer at Maimonides joined together to kick-off National Lung Cancer Awareness Month with a flag-raising today, outside the hospital's main entrance on Tenth Avenue in Brooklyn.
"Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer for both men and women in the US," said Dr. Kevin Becker, Director of Medical Oncology Lung Cancer Services. "But we can improve everyone's odds for survival with our interdisciplinary team approach to treating this cancer."
Joining Dr. Becker at the ceremony were: Dr. Michael Bergman, Director of Pulmonary Medicine; Dr. Bernadine Donahue, Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology; and Dr. Loren Harris, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Maimonides; along with numerous colleagues, hospital staff members and friends.
"Despite the high mortality rate, lung cancer can be completely cured if it is detected early," said Dr. Bergman. "Early detection is crucial."
Maimonides has been designated a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, and offers CT Scans to detect the earliest signs of cancer in high-risk patients. If you are over 55 years old and have a smoking history, or you are over 50 years old with other risk factors, such as a family history of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos or radon, or diagnosed with another cancer – this screening can be invaluable in getting you on the road to treatment and recovery at the earliest stages of the disease.
"If your screening test is abnormal, our team of lung cancer experts will devise an individualized diagnostic and treatment plan for you," Dr. Bergman added.
Among the many tools in the arsenal against lung cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Each of these approaches have been improved and refined over the years to make them safer and more effective in treating patients.
"Sixty percent of all cancer patients require radiation therapy at some point in the course of their disease," said Dr. Donahue. "Thanks to advances in the precision of our tools, we are now able to deliver a carefully targeted dose of radiation to the site of the cancer, while minimizing the impact on surrounding healthy tissue."
"Surgical treatments also are significantly less traumatic than they were just a decade ago," pointed out Dr. Harris. "Even when your condition requires the removal of a lobe of your lung, we can perform the surgery in a minimally invasive way, known as the VATS technique."
"And we can collaborate with our surgical colleagues to implant radioactive seeds that prevent the cancer from growing back," added Dr. Donahue.
In the weeks to come, Maimonides will share more about the battle against lung cancer, as well as provide information about prestigious clinical trials and other breakthrough therapies that are offered at the Maimonides Cancer Center. Smoking Cessation programs are also available to help you kick-the-habit, reduce your risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, and improve your overall health. For more information in the meantime, please visit our website.