Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women worldwide. Johnston-Willis has partnered with Sarah Cannon to redefine cancer care through clinical excellence and leading-edge research close to home.

At Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital, our program's diverse team of specialists, advanced resources and full continuum of lung cancer care are important qualities that have helped us earn the trust and confidence of our patients and referring physicians.

Because we make it easier for patients to access the care they need by helping them coordinate and manage the various services, referrals and therapies involved in their lung cancer treatment, patients can devote more time and energy toward achieving their most important goal: restoring health.

Comprehensive Lung Cancer Support

When you receive a lung cancer diagnosis, choose a cancer care team with the experience and compassion you need. At Johnston-Willis Hospital, you have access to:

  • A bi-monthly multidisciplinary case conference where medical and radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, surgeons, radiologists, a clinical research nurse and nurse navigators review your history and proposed treatment plan.
  • A lung cancer nurse navigator who collaborates with your health care team to help you navigate through diagnosis, appointments, hospital and community resources, treatment decisions, and survivorship. A navigator also provides in-depth education so you and your loved ones fully understand your diagnosis and treatment options through every step of your cancer journey.
  • An inpatient oncology unit in the same building where you receive radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, financial counseling and support services for your convenience.
  • An inpatient palliative care program, which is available to help staff and physicians focus on symptom-based treatment to provide the best possible quality of life for patients with advanced illness.
  • A lung cancer screening program which helps detect lung cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage.
  • Dietitians who can address your changing nutritional needs as you recover from surgery and pursue follow-up treatments
  • An incidental lung nodule program that notifies primary care providers of surveillance recommendations and treatment options for patients who have lung abnormalities found on medical imaging (CT scan, X-ray, etc).
  • Clinical trials for patients with lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer clinical trials
  • A monthly Lung Disease Support Group through our partnership with Breath Matters.
  • The Hawthorne Cancer Resource Center, which provides educational materials and a resource library.

Lung Cancer Screening

Early diagnosis is important for the effective treatment of lung cancer. Lung cancer screenings at Johnston-Willis are available through low-dose CT scans.

Screenings are important for people at high risk of developing lung cancer because the scans detect cancer in earlier stages before most symptoms occur.

You may be a good candidate for a lung cancer screening if you:

  • Are between the ages of 55 and 77.
  • Are still smoking or have quit in the last 15 years.
  • Have smoked at least 30 pack years (multiply the number of packs smoked per day by the number of years smoked).

If you have symptoms of lung cancer, your doctor will likely order a diagnostic CT scan.

Lung cancer screenings require a visit with your doctor and an order, if you think you are a good candidate please contact your primary care physician or pulmonologist.

Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Early detection of lung cancer is critical to achieving the best possible outcome for every patient. After your initial exam and pretreatment consultation, your lung cancer team at Johnston-Willis may recommend a number of tests to accurately determine the type and stage (progression) of cancer.

We use the most advanced technologies and procedures to ensure the most accurate diagnosis. Our advanced lung cancer diagnosis services include:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Co-registered imaging combining positron emission tomography (PET) and computerized tomography (CT) technologies (PET/CT)
  • A dedicated thoracic imaging specialist
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Genetic and biochemical specimen analysis
  • Image-guided needle biopsy and needle aspiration
  • Mediastinoscopy/mediastinotomy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Thoracentesis
  • Thoracotomy (surgery)

Lung Cancer Treatment

The goal of early stage lung cancer treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible, while preserving as much of the lungs and their function as possible. At Johnston-Willis, your lung cancer treatment plan may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Additional treatment may help to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer. Your treatment plan will often include a combination of approaches based on the characteristics of the cancer and your age, general health, and prognosis.

We make it easy for you to access our full range of resources by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of experts who work together to deliver a full continuum of care. Your treatment team will include the following specialists:

  • Pulmonologist
  • Medical oncologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Cardiothoracic surgeon
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Oncology nurse navigator
  • Social worker
  • Palliative care team
  • Oncology dietician
  • Clinical trial/research nurse
  • Oncology certified nurses

Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator

An oncology nurse navigator is a health care professional who supports cancer patients and their families through the many challenges of cancer.

Jessica Fenner, RN, BSN, OCN
Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator
Phone: (804) 483-5074

Jessica started out working on the inpatient oncology unit before moving to specialize as the thoracic nurse navigator. Lung cancer has touched her personal life multiple times making this a passion for her. Jessica works closely with all members of the thoracic oncology team to make sure your providers are all in agreement of your care. She provides education in a manner that you and your entire family can understand with the goal that you have complete understanding of your diagnosis, treatment options and cancer journey. Jessica serves as your contact person throughout your entire cancer journey.