Thoracic Cancer Care Program

A Holistic Approach to Cancer Treatment

At The Medical Faculty Associates (MFA), the thoracic care program consists of specialists in the medical and surgical field of oncology to offer state-of-the-art treatment for patients with cancers of the lung, esophagus, chest wall, heart, and other disease conditions of the thorax. Our care goes beyond treatment, to offer smoking cessation, nutritional guidance, and social and personal support throughout treatment and beyond. Our cancer care program focuses on the individual patient, and our team emphasizes treatment strategies that attempt to maximize quality service, comfort, and compassion. With the team's guidance through the care process, the emphasis and importance of personalized medicine is maintained and a care plan is structured for the right patient in a timely fashion.

Clinical Conditions

A major focus in our cancer care program is the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. Despite treatment advances, lung cancer survival remains as low as 14% at 5 years, mostly because of late diagnosis or advanced stages. Early lung cancer, when the tumor is small (< 3cm) or Stage I, may lead to a 5 year survival exceeding 70-80%. Therefore, a prompt diagnosis and management of early lung cancer manifesting as a solitary pulmonary nodule is the best chance for cure.

A solitary pulmonary nodule is defined as a single, discrete pulmonary opacity (density) seen on a chest x-ray (CXR) or computerized chest tomogram (chest CT) or positron emission tomography (PET scan), that is less than 3cm in diameter and surrounded by normal lung tissue. A solitary pulmonary nodule can be due to a variety of causes, but in general about 95% of these small nodules will be a new lung cancer, granuloma (infectious), or a benign lung tumor, and each will require therapy.

At our cancer care center, in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a thoracic surgeon will be able to evaluate, review, and determine a guided treatment strategy for any patient referred or newly discovered pulmonary nodule on an imaging study. This comprehensive care will be individualized to each patient, and will provide all necessary radiology, oncology, pulmonary, or thoracic surgery therapies, including follow up and support plans.

Types of conditions we treat:

  • Lung cancer
  • Mediastinal cancer
  • Tumors of the thymus or thymic cancers
  • Metastatic cancer to the lungs
  • Non-small cell cancer
  • Small cell cancer
  • Pleural cancer
  • Malignant pleural effusions
  • Airway cancers
  • Tracheal cancer
  • Tumors of the chest wall
  • Tumors of the esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Tumors of the thoracic spines
  • Tumors of the heart
  • Cardiac tumors
  • Tumors of the heart valves
  • Malignant pericardial effusions
  • Tumors of the nerve roots or posterior mediastinal nerve tumors

Our treatment team includes:

  • Thoracic Surgeon
  • Thoracic Physician Assistant
  • Thoracic Nurse Navigator
  • Medical Oncology
  • Pulmonary Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Research staff
  • Social work and support staff
  • New patient coordinator

Contact information:

For a new patient, or referral, or a newly discovered thoracic cancer or solitary pulmonary nodule.

Please contact the patient coordinator, Jina Calyborne, in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, at (202) 741-3220.