Open Hours

Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Lung Program at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center provides comprehensive care for the detection, treatment and prevention of lung cancer and other lung abnormalities.

The Lung Program care team consists of physician experts from multiple disciplines and a lung nurse navigator, who guides patients through the screening, evaluation and treatment process after the discovery of a lung nodule or mass. A thoracic nurse navigator plays an essential role in a patient’s journey by providing expert education and resources during their treatment plan.   

Lung Cancer Screening

A low-dose CT lung screening is essential for early detection of lung cancer. Lung cancer is most treatable when it’s identified at its earliest stages. For high-risk patients, this screening can look for signs of lung cancer even before symptoms are present.

Lung cancer screening is recommended yearly for people who:

  • Are between 50 and 80 years old, and
  • Smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and
  • Have a history of heavy smoking (20 pack years or more).
    • pack year is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year.

Questions About Lung Cancer Screening?

Contact our Lung Nurse Navigator.

Evaluation of Lung Nodules

A lung nodule is a mass of tissue in the lung that is smaller than 3 cm (slightly more than an inch) in diameter. It is one of the most common abnormalities found during a CT scan. Most lung nodules are benign (noncancerous) and can be a result of a previous infection in the lung or other cause. If a nodule is cancerous, it can represent an early stage of primary lung cancer or indicate that cancer is spreading from another part of the body to the affected lung.

The Lung Program is committed to providing expert, state-of-the-art care in the surveillance of lung nodules for high-risk individuals screened for lung cancer. The program is designed to eliminate or minimize delays in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung nodules.

If cancer is detected, our multi-disciplinary team of experts formulate an individualized treatment plan to meet the unique needs of each patient.

Advanced Technology, Leading to Better Outcomes

We offer state-of-the-art technology to detect and treat lung cancer. Some of the advanced technologies we utilize include:

  • 320 slice CT scanner: Highest resolution scans using the lowest amount of radiation. Long Beach Medical Center is one of only a few California hospitals that has this technology.
  • Electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB): ENB guides pulmonologists through a patient’s airways using technology similar to that of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to take tissue samples from regions of the lung that were previously unreachable.
  • Endobronchial ultrasounds (EBUS): EBUS allows physicians to sample central lung masses and lymph nodes with the help of ultrasound guidance to establish a lung cancer diagnosis or the stage of the disease.
  • da Vinci® Xi™:  The da Vinci® Xi™ is a robotic-assisted surgical system that allows our surgeons to perform lung cancer surgery in a minimally invasive fashion. With this technology, surgeons only need to make a few small incisions that don’t require spreading the ribs apart. This technique can reduce pain and scarring, shorten hospital stays, result in fewer complications and quicker recoveries and return to normal activities.

Other procedures and diagnostic studies used to evaluate lung nodules or stage lung cancer, if diagnosed, include CT-guided needle lung biopsy, mediastinoscopy, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), minimally invasive robotic surgery and PET-CT.

Preventing Lung Cancer

According to the American Lung Association, smoking is the main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, and contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men. If you want to quit smoking, our Freedom from Smoking program can help you on your quit journey with support from certified American Lung Association instructors. Learn more about our course.

For questions or to learn more, contact (562) 933-0900.

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