GOSHEN, Ind. (WANE) – When it comes to cancer care, it takes a village to treat a patient to give them the best possible outcome.
The doctors at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care say that’s especially true for lung cancer patients.
When you’re treated for lung cancer at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, you may be seen by as many as 6 different doctors. While that may seem like a lot, it’s needed for this complex cancer.
“Lung cancer is not just lung cancer. There’s different tumors, there’s different sites, there’s different genetic backgrounds,” says Dr. Urs von Holzen, a surgical oncologist at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care.
That means a team of highly skilled specialized doctors are needed to treat lung cancer patients. The team is made up of pulmonologists to address underlying lung diseases, an interventional radiology team, pathologist, plus many more.
“Essentially, having all these people onboard means that we can get the right treatment for each individual patient…depending on the stage of the disease, the treatment will be mainly driven by two, maybe 3 specialties that are involved,” says Dr. von Holzen
All those doctors are in constant communication, and meet officially once a week, but usually it’s more.
“We all know each other very well, and work with each other very closely all the time. We’re in the same building and we’re close together. That helps a lot.”
The goal for the doctors at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care is to treat lung cancer as soon as possible. They say the best way to do that is through early detection, which the cancer center offers a free lung screening program.
“2017 to 2018 we did about 500 scans per year. Lung cancer, or low dose CT scans screen, about 20% of patients that we screen had some findings on their scans. Most of them, or almost all of them are benign, but about 10% of the patients need closer follow-up because they have some finding.”
Dr. von Holzen says 2% of those patients needing follow-up truly have cancer.
“The earlier we find these lung cancers, the earlier we can treat them, the better prognosis, the better survival of these patients.”