Lung Cancer

The Cancer Network of West Michigan is the only program in the region with experts specializing in lung cancer and lung nodules. We offer sophisticated tests and treatments that lead to precise care

You also benefit from the expertise of cancer specialists from Mercy Health and University of Michigan Health-West.

What Are Lung Cancer
and Lung Nodules?
 

Lung cancer occurs when cancerous growths form in the lungs. While smoking increases your risk, people who have never smoked can also develop lung cancer.

Lung nodules are small, abnormal growths. Nodules are often noncancerous and due to scar tissue from past infections or exposure to irritants, like harsh chemicals. In some cases, lung nodules are an early sign of lung cancer.

Cancer
Services
Find out more about the services we offer, including tests, treatments and support.
Clinical
Trials
Get more information about national clinical trials happening right in our community.
Locations
Cancer services are available at several locations across West Michigan locations.
Lung Cancer and Nodule Care
At the Cancer Network
 

Lung cancer occurs when cancerous growths form in the lungs. While smoking increases your risk, people who have never smoked can also develop lung cancer.

Lung nodules are small, abnormal growths. Nodules are often noncancerous and due to scar tissue from past infections or exposure to irritants, like harsh chemicals. In some cases, lung nodules are an early sign of lung cancer.

Our
Program
Timely
Care
We typically see new patients within one week. Once diagnosed, many patients benefit from advanced services that include assessment and treatment in one procedure. This enables you to start treatment sooner, giving you the best chances for good results.
team
approach
Your care reflects the recommendations of many specialists and multiple organizations. Cancer Network lung cancer experts communicate regularly in meetings called tumor boards. Our lung cancer team includes lung specialists (pulmonologists), chest (thoracic) surgeons and radiation oncologists.
outstanding
patient experience
: Our experts consider every possible treatment and tailor therapies to your needs. And we are easy to reach between appointments if you have questions. These efforts are some of the reasons why many people give our program perfect scores on patient experience surveys.
Lung Cancer
and Nodule Symptoms
 

In the early stages, lung cancer and nodules might not cause symptoms. As they get bigger, you may experience:

  • Nagging cough that worsens over time
  • Chest pain that does not go away
  • Coughing up blood
  • Frequent lung infections
  • Hoarse voice
  • Shortness of breath
Diagnosing Lung Cancer
and Nodules
 

Most patients receive a diagnosis and treatment recommendations after two visits to the Cancer Network.

Comprehensive evaluations typically include:

  • Medical history and physical exam: Our team listens carefully as you describe your symptoms and previous medical issues. Experts then perform a physical exam that includes listening to your lungs through a stethoscope. We also review the results of prior imaging studies, like CT scans.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A PET scan shows detailed images of abnormal growths and their location within lung structures. This scan uses safe levels of a radioactive substance to highlight abnormal cell activity, helping us determine the likelihood of cancer.
Advanced lung cancer assessment
and treatment in one procedure
 

If PET scan results are positive, the next step is often a procedure that combines additional tests and treatment. The Cancer Network is the only program in the region offering this approach. Receiving these services from one expert and in one procedure saves months of precious time.

Depending on your needs, your care team may recommend a combination of advanced assessment and treatment procedures. These can include:
• Navigational bronchoscopy: We slide a thin tube (bronchoscope) down your throat to examine abnormal growths in the lung’s airways. Special technology enables us to navigate the bronchoscope to the abnormal growth.
• Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS): We access difficult-to-reach areas with a different type of bronchoscope. Experts take a tissue sample of the abnormal growth and examine it under a microscope to determine cancer severity (stage).
• Lobectomy: We access and remove the portion of your lung that has cancer. The procedure also includes removing a rim of nearby tissue, which lowers the risk of missing any cancer cells.

Additional Lung
Cancer Treatments
 

Surgery may be an option if we cannot remove the cancer with an advanced assessment procedure. During lung cancer surgery, we perform a lobectomy or mediastinotomy, which removes a section of nearby tissue.

Your procedure may include:

  • Robotic surgery uses small incisions and special technology to remove cancer with less disruption to healthy tissue. This technique is gentler on your body, so you can recover faster.
  • Open surgery is a traditional approach that involves larger incisions. Open surgery may be necessary for large cancerous growths.

If you are not eligible for surgery, your care may include stereotactic radiosurgery using the CyberKnife® System. This nonsurgical procedure uses special technology to deliver a high dose of radiation to precisely the right spot.

More Lung Cancer and Nodule Services
from the Cancer Network
 

Our comprehensive approach also includes early detection, long-term follow-up care and the support you deserve.

  • Lung cancer screenings: The Cancer Network was the first program in West Michigan with a lung cancer screening program. We use low-dose CT scans to detect the early signs of lung cancer.
  • Ongoing monitoring: For lung nodules, we provide regular CT scans making it easier to detect changes that could be a sign of cancer. If you are a lung cancer survivor, we provide monitoring for at least five years after you complete treatment.
  • Support: Cancer Network social workers make living with lung cancer or nodules a little less stressful. They are familiar with the anxiety and other challenges these issues can bring. You can count on us for emotional support and referrals to local support services.
Lung Cancer
Team
The best and brightest focused on your care.
Thoracic Surgeon
Bruce Shabahang
MD
Lung Care
April McManes
PA-C
Lung Care
Laura Ackerman
NP
Our
Locations
Expert care not far from home:

Cancer Network services are available at several locations across West Michigan. Each facility represents the full strength, compassion and expertise we have to offer. Our integrated approach makes it easier to receive care where you’re most comfortable — near home and loved ones. 

Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center
250 Cherry Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Mercy Health Johnson Family Cancer Center
1440 Sherman Blvd
Muskegon, MI 49444
University of Michigan Health-West Cancer Center
5950 Metro Way
Wyoming, MI 49519

Connect With Us

Ready to Talk to an expert?
The Cancer Network of West Michigan can provide a fast-tracked evaluation of your diagnosis, helping you make the best decision for your care.