Lung Cancer Treatment

Once you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, our Cancer Services team and specialists work with you to develop your individual treatment plan. Beebe's medical oncologists and lung surgeons meet regularly to discuss cases and collaborate on the best treatment plan for you.

At Beebe Healthcare, new investments in technology and training have allowed us to meet the best evidence-based clinical practice guidelines around who should be tested for lung cancer and how they should be treated.

This includes our use of 3D imaging to navigate the lung’s narrow passages where most tumors reside and test growths for the presence of cancer, a technique called navigational bronchoscopy. If we catch lung cancer early enough, we use a team approach to remove tumors before they have a chance to spread.

At Beebe, we also use highly sensitive ultrasounds to spot lung cancer.

This technology is helping us find more early-stage lung cancers. In 2016, we found eight first-stage lung cancers in this screening program, followed by 12 early cancers in 2017. Each cancer found early is potentially a life saved.


Surgical Options

Beebe offers multiple treatments for lung cancer and lung issues. Working with your physician and care team, you can decide the best treatment option for your illness.

Open Surgery: Lung cancer surgery may be performed using open surgery through a long chest incision. Doctors may also need to spread the ribs to access the lung. Open surgery allows doctors to touch and feel organs while operating.

Minimally Invasive Surgery options include:

Thoracoscopy/VATS: Thoracoscopy is also called video-assisted thoracic surgery or VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery). Doctors insert a tiny camera (thorascope) and surgical instruments into the chest through small incisions. The camera takes images inside the patient’s body and sends them to a video monitor in the operating room to guide surgeons as they operate.

Robotically Assisted Surgery: When using robotically assisted surgery, doctors make a few small incisions - similar to thoracoscopy procedures. During robotically assisted surgery, the surgeon sits at a console near the patient and controls the instruments, which bend and rotate. The surgeon uses a 3D HD vision system which provides a magnified view inside the patient’s body, which is part of the da Vinci Xi surgical system used at Beebe's Center for Robotic Surgery. The system translates all hand movements into smaller, precise movements of tiny instruments in the patient’s body. (More on Robotically Assisted Procedures below.)

Beebe Respiratory Services can help before, during, and after your surgery. 

Find out about Beebe Respiratory Services.


Robotically Assisted Thoracic Surgery

In addition to navigational bronchoscopy and other advanced lung cancer treatment procedures, Beebe's Center for Robotic Surgery also now gives patients the option to have robotically assisted surgery. Beebe Healthcare’s Center for Robotic Surgery was launched in 2018 with the addition of Kurt Wehberg, MD, Board Certified and Fellowship Trained cardiothoracic surgeon. Dr. Wehberg has performed more than 500 robotic surgeries over the course of his career. Dr. Wehberg and the team at Beebe use the da Vinci Xi Surgical System.

There are different types of lung cancer procedures and depending on your type of cancer and recommendations from your doctor, you might be able to have minimally invasive robotic surgery procedures including:
  • Wedge resection: surgical removal of a triangular slice of tissue or tumor
  • Lobectomy: surgical removal of a section of lung
  • Pneumonectomy: surgical removal of entire lung.
All surgery carries with it some amount of risk. With robotically assisted surgery, patients can expect less scarring, quicker recovery time, and more precise removal of tumors.
Studies have shown:
  • Patients experience less blood loss
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Patients in 86% of cases are released from the hospital sooner.
Talk to your doctor about which type of procedure is right for you.