Lung Cancer Screening and Pulmonary Nodule Program

Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other cancer: it is a statistic we are at the forefront of changing.

Our multidisciplinary program offers expert evaluation, monitoring and treatment for individuals with lung nodules, as well as heavy smokers considered high risk for developing lung cancer. One of the few programs of its kind in Southern California, we bring together experts in thoracic surgery, pulmonology, radiology and oncology to offer patients:

  • Quick access to multidisciplinary assessment and evaluation
  • Today’s best evidence-based approaches to monitoring, including low-dose CT screening
  • Early and accurate diagnosis, while preventing unnecessary tests, procedures and surgeries
  • Streamlined diagnosis and treatment to achieve superior results

We also offer the coordination and support of a thoracic nurse navigator, ensuring seamless, convenient care—no matter what level of care is needed.

What is a pulmonary nodule?

A pulmonary nodule is any “spot” in the lung that is less than 3 centimeters in diameter; most are discovered by accident during imaging for another problem. Our clinic is designed to thoroughly evaluate each nodule and determine what, if any, follow-up is necessary.

Treatment often involves “watchful waiting” with periodic imaging to assess for changes in shape or size. While the vast majority of nodules are benign, caused by old infections or scar tissue, some are early signs of lung cancer, requiring prompt testing and treatment. We are leaders in using evidence-based protocols to minimize unneeded testing or invasive procedures, offering patients exactly the right care at the right time.

For nodules that appear suspicious, we are one of the few centers in California to offer electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy, a minimally-invasive diagnostic technology that uses GPS-like technology to locate and biopsy a pulmonary nodule without performing surgery or a needle biopsy.

If you have been diagnosed with a lung nodule, please contact Shannon Lindop, RN, OCN, Thoracic Nurse Navigator and Program Coordinator, at (714) 446-5355. Your diagnostic images will be evaluated by our panel of experts and, if needed, an individualized plan of care developed—including appropriate monitoring, additional testing, or treatment. A physician referral is required; if you don’t have a referring physician, please contact the nurse navigator to make an appointment with one of our pulmonologists.

Who should be screened for lung cancer?

Current or former smokers, ages 55-77, who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years—or those who have smoked a pack a day for 20 years and have an additional risk factor— face a significantly higher risk of developing cancer or other lung diseases.

Low-dose CT screening is considered the gold standard in detecting lung cancer early. In addition to the latest generation CT imaging, we also offer the experience and expertise to accurately interpret and evaluate the images—ensuring the correct level of care.

If you are considered a heavy smoker with an additional risk factor (a family history of lung cancer, exposure to secondhand smoke, or exposure to asbestos, radon or arsenic), please contact (714) 446-5830 to schedule a lung screening. Most insurance plans including Medicare and Medi-Cal consider lung screening a covered benefit, as do all Covered California insurance plans.