Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute | Thoracic & Lung Cancer

The Program  |  Treatment Options  |  Patient Resources  |  Services  |  Screenings

Lung cancer is one of the few diseases on the rise in our country. It’s taking the lives of more women each year than breast and colon cancer combined.

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center is leading the Connecticut and Western Massachusetts region in advancing research, screening and treatment for lung cancer. With five-year survival rates now topping 75% for Stage 1 lung cancer patients, breakthrough treatments are continually raising hope and improving outcomes.

The Program

A Multidisciplinary Team of Specialists Provide Individualized Care
We are a major referral center for patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer and other chest tumors. Our team of specialists gathers weekly to determine on the most effective cancer treatments for individual thoracic cancer patients. With the wide perspective of experts from Thoracic Surgery, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Pulmonary Medicine, Pathology, Radiology and any other department required, patients get the most advanced cancer treatment possible.

Pathology experts profile the tumor with genetic testing, identifying mutations that guide medical oncology specialists to the most effective chemotherapy agents. Radiology specialists add perspective on diagnostic imaging results and radiation oncologists help the team determine treatments required. Oncology nurses provide patient care and education. Patients are connected with support groups, nutritional counseling, social services and spiritual care, and offered integrative therapies like Reiki. The result: the most effective cancer treatment, and the best patient well being.

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Treatment Options

The Latest Treatments, The Most Advanced Technology
We’re pioneering advanced medical technology like bracheatherapy to place radiation seeds directly into tumors, and ultrasound-guided EBUS technology to sample lymph nodes without traditional medial stinoscopy surgery. Now we can treat some tumors in just five days using specialized high-dose stereotactic radiation, and we’ve just introduced a new internal superdimension navigation system to locate and biopsy lung tumors that are otherwise unreachable. As innovators in techniques like robotic and video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), our patients are recovering faster with smaller incisions. Needle biopsies were developed and perfected at Hartford Hospital, where we’re stepping up lung cancer prevention with new low-dose CT scan screening.

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Patient Resources

Low Dose CT Scan Lung Screening Study Outcome Report

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Our goal is to provide exceptional, up-to-date, and coordinated care delivered in a timely and compassionate manner. Our board-certified surgeons are equipped with the latest techniques for dealing with benign and malignant conditions of the lung, chest wall, and esophagus.

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Lung Cancer Screening Programs

Having conducted a 2.5 year Lung Screening Study from November 2013 through June 2016, Hartford HealthCare analyzed Low Dose CaT scan, or LDCT. These screenings and follow-ups covered over 960 participants.  Conclusions drawn from this study supported Group I patient (30 pack year smokers) analysis, which helped to influence CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,  LDCT Screening Decision of February 2015.  In addition, further analysis will be forth coming to support Group II patient (exposure to cancer causing chemicals) screening recommendations.    

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death in the U.S.  To help identify those at risk, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institutes are proud to offer Lung Cancer Screening Programs at cancer center locations at Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Backus Hospital, MidState Medical Center,  and Windham Hospital.

To qualify for a Lung Screening, you must:

  • Be a current or former smoker who has quit within the last 15 years
  • Be between the ages of 55 and 77 and healthy enough to undergo treatment
  • Have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, or the equivalent.)
  • Have no signs or symptoms of cancer
  • Have spoken with their healthcare provider about lung screening
  • Have an order for a screening from your healthcare provider

To sign up for your screening exam, please contact your health care provider. For further information call:

The Lung Screening, Tobacco and Health Project

Smoking cessation is the first and hardest step to take. Hartford Hospital has joined with Georgetown University Medical Center, in collaboration with three other sites- Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, and the Baptist Hospital of Miami, to open up the Lung Screening, Tobacco, and Health Project.

This program is designed to help make that often difficult first step easier by providing telephone counseling sessions with trained tobacco treatment counselors at Georgetown University. The counselors offer free-of-charge nicotine replacement, support, and strategies for quitting to help you achieve your goals. These phone calls will take place over a three month period, scheduled at your convenience. There is also the potential to receive up to $60 in gift cards for participating in this study.

If you are interested in this project and enrolled in the lung cancer screening program at Hartford Hospital, please call: 860.972.4662.

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  • Esophageal Cancer

    We are committed to providing compassionate care for every stage of esophageal cancer.

  • Lung Cancer

    Minimally invasive techniques allow us to deal with lung cancer in a manner that maximizes patient comfort and minimizes hospital stays.

  • Other Thoracic Diseases

    We deal with a lot of complex esophageal and airway problems using endoscopic and laser interventions.