Until recently, a diagnosis of lung cancer usually meant a poor prognosis, especially since lung cancer symptoms don’t appear until the disease has progressed. But with new early detection tools and innovative treatment options, survival rates continue to rise.
Central Maine Healthcare is staffed by experienced lung cancer specialists. Together, this dedicated team—including board-certified pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, specialized nurses and more—will work with you to create the best possible treatment plan.
We specialize in minimizing pain and side effects, plus access to a full range of cancer support services, so you can focus on healing.
Surgery is performed to remove the lung tumor, as well as nearby lymph nodes in the chest to check for signs of cancer. It is typically used for early stage lung cancer, when the cancer has not spread, and in some cases, may completely cure the disease. Following surgery, additional treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be used to lower the risk of the cancer returning.
Central Maine Healthcare uses the most advanced technology available to target lung tumors with extreme precision. Treatments include intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which focus high-dose radiation directly on the tumor, while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. We also treat lung cancer from the inside with HDR brachytherapy, which delivers radiation from small implants located close to the tumor.
We also offer the latest and most effective chemotherapy options. Chemotherapy has shown to improve both the length and quality of life for people with lung cancer of all stages.
Other medical oncology services include:
- Targeted Therapy: We now look for changes in lung cancer genes that can be targeted with oral (pill) treatments. These gene mutations can be targeted by drug therapy. Having this information helps us develop a treatment plan that’s specifically designed to fight your specific tumor. Most targeted therapies are oral medications that can be taken at home. They can spare patients hair loss, nausea, low blood counts or increased risk for infection. They are also more convenient and can enhance quality of life compared to standard treatments.
- Immunotherapy: Recent FDA-approved drug therapies give people the ability to fight lung cancer using the body’s natural defense mechanism: the immune system. Immunotherapy works by making hidden cancer cells visible to the immune system, allowing white blood cells to fight and kill the cancer. Studies have shown immunotherapy drugs to be well-tolerated with minimal side effects, and when combined with more traditional treatments, have doubled lung cancer survival rates.