Comprehensive lung cancer program in Richmond

Lung cancer causes the most cancer-related deaths in the U.S. but may be treated effectively if caught early enough. When you choose Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital for your lung cancer care, you gain a team of oncology experts known for their clinical excellence and research conveniently located close to home.

The combination of our program's pulmonary care specialists, high-level resources and lung cancer care offerings have helped us earn the trust and confidence of both patients and referring providers.

If you would like more information about our lung cancer services, you can speak to a registered nurse 24/7 by calling (804) 320-3627.

Lung cancer signs and symptoms

Early recognition of signs and symptoms of lung cancer is essential in order to ensure the best potential outcome. Signs of lung cancer tend to not show up until the disease is in later stages; however, early detection is still possible with screenings and by talking to your doctor about any potential symptoms you experience.

Common symptoms of lung cancer can include:

  • A new, chronic cough or a cough that doesn't go away
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that is worse with deep breathing or coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained loss of appetite and/or weight loss
  • Coughing up blood

Signs of lung cancer tend to not show up until the disease is in later stages; however, early detection is still possible with screenings and by talking to your doctor about any potential symptoms you experience.

Risk factors for lung cancer

Smoking is the leading risk factor for developing lung cancer. Even if you are not a smoker, you can still be at risk. Being exposed to excessive secondhand smoke, radon or other environmental factors can also cause lung cancer.

Early detection with lung cancer screening

Studies have shown that screening for early detection of lung cancer, before symptoms are present, can detect lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat and more likely to be cured. Lung cancer screenings at Johnston-Willis are performed through low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans.

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

  • Are between 55 and 77 years old (Medicare), between 55 and 80 (Private Insurance)
  • 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 think you are a candidate, please contact your primary care physician or pulmonologist.

Diagnosing lung cancer

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

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Co-registered imaging combining CT and positron emission tomography (PET) 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 options

The goal of early-stage lung cancer treatment is to remove as much of the cancer while preserving as much of the lungs and their function as possible. Your treatment plan will often include a combination of approaches based on the characteristics of the cancer and your age, general health and prognosis.

At Johnston-Willis, your lung cancer treatment plan may include:

Lung cancer nurse navigator

Greg McKenzie

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, our nurse navigator will help guide you through your journey. Your nurse navigator answers your questions and helps you understand your care options. With a nurse navigator, you and your family will get the personal service you need and deserve.

Greg McKenzie, BSN, RN, BMTCN
Adult Oncology Thoracic Nurse Navigator
Email Greg
Phone: (804) 483-5074

Greg McKenzie is the lung cancer nurse navigator for Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals in Richmond, Virginia. His office is located in the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Greg worked on the inpatient oncology unit before transitioning into his role as the oncology thoracic lung nurse navigator. Lung cancer has touched Greg's own personal life through his father's journey with lung cancer. Since then, helping patients and families facing cancer has become a passion for him.

Greg works closely with all members of the thoracic oncology team to make sure your providers are all in agreement with the best plan for your care. He provides education in a manner that you and your entire family can understand, with the goal that you have a complete understanding of your diagnosis, treatment options, and best options for a plan for care. Greg serves as your contact person throughout your entire cancer journey.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Johnston-Willis Hospital is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis, to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally-trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially-trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (804) 591-4152 or chat online at askSARAHnow.com.