A chronic cough, shortness of breath, shoulder pain - signs you could have lung cancer. You're scared, anxious and want answers. Now you can find them and fast at a center dedicated exclusively to diagnosing and treating lung cancer - the Lung Health Center at Alegent Creighton Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center.
"Time is critical with detecting the lung cancer early, treating the lung cancer early, and decreasing the potential for spread of the lung cancer," Dr. Bryan Krajicek with the Lung Health Center said.
The Lung Health Center puts everything you need under one roof - a multidisciplinary approach to early detection and management of lung cancer.
"This is as advanced as lung cancer has been in decades and we are pleased to offer it to our patients," said Dr. Krajicek.
It's staffed with pulmonologists, a thoracic surgeon, radiologists, pathologists, medical and radiation oncologists, nurse practitioners and more – all specially trained in lung cancer to provide expert care and avoid delays in your treatment.
"Prior to this multidisciplinary approach many patients go through system and it has taken several weeks to months to navigate the system and get a final recommendation. With a system like this we can get you in within days, make the diagnosis, and recommend a treatment plan faster," Dr. Krajicek said.
The center is equipped with cutting edge technology to diagnose and stage lung cancer and non cancer lung conditions earlier and more accurately than ever before. The first step is the super dimension electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy or ENB.
"This is like navigation for your car except navigation within the lung. This helps guide a small catheter to the lower part of the lung into the spot so I can safely biopsy this," said Dr. Krajieck.
It's partnered with the endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS.
"It's a different scope it uses ultrasound technology. I use this to identify the lymph nodes in question to safely pass a needle into the lesions to sample them to see if there is cancer in those lymph nodes," said Dr. Krajieck.
Together the state of the art tools provide patients a safer – speedier diagnosis.
"We can offer advanced procedures to make a diagnosis with least invasive approach. This insures you don't need to go through unnecessary surgery. We can do simple straight forward outpatient biopsies to get small pieces of tissue to know if you have cancer - to stage your cancer and be able to offer you the best treatment options," said Dr. Krajieck.
Any patient, who is at risk for lung cancer, has an abnormal x-ray or cat scan or has already been diagnosed with lung cancer and needs recommendations for treatment - will find answers at the Lung Health Center. Navigating lung cancer can be pretty scary but with an expert team and technology on your side it doesn't have to be.
If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Lung Health Center at Bergan Mercy Medical Center or see if you qualify for a lung screen, call 402-717-lung. You can also visit AlegentCreighton.com/LungCenter for more information.