Lymphedema

Lymphedema causes swelling in limbs, sometimes to twice their size, as well as tingling, numbness and pain. Some patients have difficulty moving their arms or using their hands. Lymphedema can be uncomfortable and downright painful. Fortunately, new surgeries can open up the possibilities for lymphedema patients. With new surgical advancements, relief is a given. 

The MedStar Health Cancer Network is one of the first and only centers in in the region providing lymphedema surgery.

Now Offering Lymph Node Transfer Surgery

Sharon Lanza shares her story about lymphedema and how a lymph node transfer changed her life. 

Have Questions About Lymphedema?

1-877-715-HOPE

Lymphedema Management 

A critical part of cancer patients' care is rehabilitation. MedStar Health is the region's leading physical therapy provider with more than 50 convenient locations and providing highly-specialized programs for patients with all types and stages of cancer.  Lymphedema management focuses on educating and instructing you with self-help techniques to begin to manage primary or secondary lymphedema independently. Management and rehabilitation has been developed based on therapists’ training and working knowledge of current medical management of primary and secondary lymphedema and related rehabilitative needs. Services by physical and occupational therapists are brought together to develop an individualized treatment plan to restore the patient to the highest level of functioning. Learn more about the Lymphedema Management Program at MedStar Health

Individualized Treatment Programs

Aspects of the treatment program include education and surgical assessments based on the patient’s needs as determined by the patient and physician. Education will include the origin of lymphedema, precautions and lifestyle modification, and current management techniques. Pre- and Post- Surgical assessments for patients at risk for secondary lymphedema include a pre- and post-operative baseline assessment of current daily functional level, flexibility, strength, and arm measurements.

Treatment Options

Lymphedema management - When lymphedema presents, the patient is offered a comprehensive approach to restore maximal level of function. Treatment may include:

  • Manual lymphatic therapy
  • Gradient compression bandaging of the limb
  • A comprehensive exercise prescription for flexibility, strength and edema management
  • Posture and breathing exercises
  • Aerobic and conditioning exercises
  • Sequential compression pump if indicated

Rehabilitation for:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness of the affected limb
  • Pain
  • Correcting muscle imbalances which may have resulted from surgery
  • Fitness programs to restore pre-diagnosis activity levels

Is Lymphedema Surgery Right for You?

Your breast cancer treatment may have involved removal of the lymph nodes under your arms. Even if your lymph nodes were not removed, though, they might still have been damaged during your breast surgery. Roughly 20 percent of patients treated for breast cancer develop lymphedema, a complication caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune and circulatory systems. Sometimes it takes years for lymphedema to surface after treatment. But thanks to a life-changing lymph node transfer procedure, there is help and hope. 

If this is the case, damaged or removed lymph nodes can prevent lymph from draining normally, causing swelling in your arm.

If your arm is very swollen, you will be able to detect lymphedema immediately. But, you might not be able to see the signs at first. If you have had breast cancer surgery and you are experiencing any of these symptoms, lymphedema surgery might help you:

  • Your arm feels too tight and heavy
  • You see redness in the arm or hand and feel an accompanying pain
  • You notice your skin is a little thicker on the arms or hands
  • Your shirt, rings and wrist-wear fit more snug than usual.

Your physician will decide if surgery is right for you.

Microsurgical Procedures Provide Relief

In the past, doctors could only treat the symptoms of lymphedema. At The MedStar Health Cancer Network, we are one of the few centers to use advanced microsurgical techniques to permanently relieve the pain and swelling of lymphedema. MedStar Health offers two types of lymphedema surgery:

Lymph Node Transfer

In lymph node transfer surgery, we take healthy lymph nodes from one part of the body (typically the groin) and transfer them to the affected area of the body. Microsurgical techniques mean we only need to make tiny incisions on the hand and groin. This means no noticeable scars and quick recovery time.

Lymphovenous Bypass

In lymphovenous bypass surgery, we connect blocked lymph vessels to nearby veins, relieving the pressure. Patients who have this outpatient procedure can go home the same day and experience minimal scars and blood loss.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 202-877-1621.

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
G23
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
Breast Center at Bel Air
12 MedStar Blvd.
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-515-6090

Learn More

How CyberKnife Works

CyberKnife® is one of the most advanced and effective stereotactic radiosurgery technologies, which is a method of controlling or destroying tumors by aiming beams of radiation at them from multiple directions. Multiple X-ray cameras and powerful software pinpoint the exact location of a tumor. A robotic arm then aims high-powered radiation beams directly at the tumor from more than 1,400 different angles. Because the robotic arm has unparalleled flexibility, the beams of radiation can be directed even at difficult-to-reach areas of the body. And, because the beams are so precise, they focus only on the tumor, not on any surrounding healthy tissue.

Contact Us

For a physician referral or to find out if you're a candidate for CyberKnife treatment, please call us.

1-877-CYBER-01

Synchrony® Respiratory Tracking System

MedStar Health’s CyberKnife system is also coupled with a revolutionary tracking technology called Synchrony. Throughout treatment, even the slightest movement, such as a patient's breathing, will cause tumor movement. By continuously tracking the position of the tumor and correcting for movement in real time, there is minimal radiation spillover to healthy surrounding tissue, including blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs.

See how it works:

What to expect

Your initial consultation: The first time you meet with your treatment team, they’ll explain how it works, as well as the risks and benefits for your diagnosis.

Placement of marker:In some cases, your doctor will implant tiny metal markers, called fiducials, in or near the tumor which will help to accurately guide the radiation beams as your tumors moves while you breathe.

Imaging and mapping: Your cancer team will use a combination of MRIs, CT scans, and 3D technology to understand the size, shape, and location of your tumor. This results in a detailed pictures that helps your doctor plan radiation treatment aimed at your tumor without affecting the healthy tissue around it.

Treatment: You’ll receive one to five hour-long treatments over two weeks. During each session, you’ll change into a gown before laying down on a table. You can listen to an audiobook or music while a robotic arm moves around your body, delivering radiation directly to the tumor. A tracking system monitors the position of the tumor, so you can breathe freely while the treatment beams remain on their target.

Side effects: During the therapy, you won’t feel any pain. And most patients can resume their daily activities immediately following treatment. Your doctor will recommend ways to minimize potential side effects.

Follow up: Once your treatment is complete, you’ll receive regularly scheduled PSA tests to see how well the tumor responded to the Cyberknife therapy. Then your physician will review your results with you in detail, answer any questions, and recommend next steps.

Location Information

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Learn More

CyberKnife® Treatment for Brain Metastases

Brain metastases (mets) form when cancer spreads to the brain from other parts of the body. Whole-brain radiation and surgery may not be ideal because of the sensitive structures in the brain. That's why you need an effective treatment option that won't affect your healthy brain tissue.

CyberKnife is a nonsurgical procedure that is clinically proven to treat brain metastases without the side effects of surgery and whole-brain radiation. Using multiple x-ray cameras and robotic technology delivers radiation to benign and cancerous brain tumors with the highest level of precision while sparing healthy brain tissue—and your quality of life.

When you choose this treatment at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, you can be confident that you're receiving the most advanced treatment for metastatic tumors in the brain from the nation's top CyberKnife experts.

Contact Us

For a physician referral or to find out if you're a candidate for this treatment, please call us.

1-877-CYBER-01

Our Location

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Benefits of CyberKnife

Unmatched accuracy. It treats benign and cancerous tumors in the brain from more than 1,400 angles while preserving healthy tissue.

Reduced cognitive impact. It is more precise than whole-brain radiation, so you're less likely to experience cognitive side effects, like memory loss.

No hospital stay. This therapy is performed as an outpatient procedure and doesn't require hospitalization.K

Painless and safe. This therapy is non-surgical so you won't need to worry about the side effects associated with anesthesia, blood loss, or incisions.

Faster treatment completion. One to five sessions are completed in one to two weeks.

Excellent outcomes. Clinical studies demonstrate that this therapy is highly effective at treating benign and cancerous lesions within the brain

Is CyberKnife right for you?

Depending on your diagnosis, this therapy may be your best brain metastases treatment option—or an excellent supplement to other treatments. No cases are the same, so it's important to talk to your doctor about what will for you. CyberKnife is commonly used to treat:

  • Brain metastases
  • Brain tumors that are inoperable
  • Benign tumors causing symptoms such as pituitary adenomas
  • Tumors near sensitive brain structures that affect motor control, hearing, vision, and touch
  • Patients who have already received whole-brain radiation
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

 

Lung Cancer Treatment with CyberKnife®

Lung cancer can be challenging to treat with traditional radiation because your lungs naturally move as you breathe. And surgery can be risky—or even impossible for some patients. But lung cancer is no match for CyberKnife therapy at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. 

Despite what its name suggests, this therapy is a nonsurgical procedure that eliminates tumors anywhere in the body. Using multiple x-ray cameras and robotic technology, it delivers high doses of concentrated radiation to unwelcome tumors from every possible angle—even as you breathe.

It's one of the most advanced and effective FDA-approved treatments for lung cancer, especially if your tumor is inoperable.

When you choose CyberKnife at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, you can be confident that you're receiving the most advanced treatment for lung cancer from the nation's top experts.

Contact Us

For a physician referral or to find out if you're a candidate for CyberKnife treatment, please call us.

1-877-CYBER-01

Our Location

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Benefits of CyberKnife

Unmatched accuracy. CyberKnife destroys benign and cancerous tumors from more than 1,400 angle while ensuring healthy tissue remains untouched.

No breath-holding. Unlike traditional radiation, you can breathe freely because CyberKnife radiation beams follow the tumor as your chest rises and falls.

No hospital stay. CyberKnife therapy is performed as an outpatient procedure, so you'll return home the same day as treatment.

No pain, anesthesia, or recovery time. CyberKnife is a non-invasive procedure, so you won't need to worry about blood loss, incisions, or medication.

Faster treatment completion. Three to five treatments are completed in about one week, whereas traditional radiation may require up to 40 visits.

Excellent outcomes. Proven results show CyberKnife is as effective at treating early-stage lung cancer as surgery and is superior to traditional radiation therapy.

Lung cancer patient John Ford's experience

After John Ford received his lung cancer diagnosis, he worked with a team of physicians including cardiologists and oncologists to plan the best approach for his care. His lung cancer was treated using CyberKnife technology by Dr. David Perry at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

Is CyberKnife right for you?

Depending on your diagnosis, CyberKnife may be your best treatment option — or an excellent supplement to other treatments. No two lung cancer cases are the same, so it's important to talk to your doctor to determine what will work best for you. You may be a good candidate for CyberKnife if:

  • You have an early-state lung cancer diagnosis
  • You are unable to have surgery due to other health conditions
  • Your tumor is inoperable or hard-to-reach with traditional radiation

 

Rectal Cancer Treatment

When you receive rectal cancer treatment at MedStar Health, you can expect the highest quality of care from specialists who have more experience treating this disease than most cancer centers in the region. Because we treat a high number of patients with this disease, we offer unmatched expertise that leads to your best possible outcome.

In fact, studies show that surgeons like ours who perform a high volume of the same surgeries are more successful in:

  • Removing rectal cancer
  • Preventing cancer from returning
  • Preserving the sphincter
  • Lowering the risk of a colostomy

Your treatment plan will be designed by a variety of medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, as well as specialists, including gastroenterologists and gynecologists. Involving experts across a variety of disciplines allows us to customize a comprehensive treatment plan that considers your most promising options. Your treatment plan will be based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Where cancer is located in the rectum
  • How far cancer has spread
  • If the bowel is blocked
  • If there is a hole in the bowel
  • If it’s a new tumor or a recurring tumor
  • Your overall health condition

Contact Us

To book an appointment, call us at:

877-715-HOPE

Surgery

What it is: When cancer is contained in the rectum, surgery is the most common treatment. During surgery, a specialist removes the tumor by entering through the opening of the rectum or the abdomen. This may be performed as open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure, like robotic surgery, which results in fewer risks, less pain, and faster recovery than traditional surgery.

Your surgery type will vary based on the stage and location of your tumor.

If you have a polyp: When a polyp appears suspicious or is confirmed to be cancerous, a surgeon can remove it during colonoscopy using a procedure called a polypectomy.

If you have a small tumor: Small tumors may be removed through a local excision, which means a surgeon will remove only the cancerous area.

If you have a large tumor: For larger tumors, your surgeon may need to remove tissues surrounding the tumor in addition to the tumor in a procedure called resection.

Because the rectum is a small body part, it’s important to select a highly trained surgeon with experience in reconnecting the colon to the rectum using a sphincter-preserving procedure. Otherwise, you may need a colostomy. During a colostomy, your surgeon will cut a hole in your abdomen and attach a bag to the outside of your body to collect waste. Choosing someone who specializes in sphincter-preserving procedures can significantly lower your risk of needing a colostomy.

How it works: For early-stage rectal cancer, surgery may be the only treatment necessary to completely remove the cancerous tumor. In other cases when rectal cancer has grown or spread, it may be combined with other treatments, including radiation or chemotherapy.

Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that allows highly trained surgeons to remove rectal cancer with more precision and less pain and risk than traditional surgery. This allows you to recover faster, have less scarring, and experience fewer side effects. Learn more about the benefits of robotic surgery for colorectal patients.

Chemotherapy

What it is: Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancerous cells and prevent them from growing. There are a variety of chemotherapy options that can be useful in shrinking the tumor before surgery and minimizing your risk of cancer returning after surgery, especially if cancer spreads to your lymph nodes.

How it works: Chemotherapy is considered a systemic treatment, which means that it affects your entire body. When you need chemotherapy, our oncologists work hard to minimize your side effects so you can maintain a high quality of life.

Your team of oncologists and specialists will carefully calculate a dosage that may be given several ways, including:

  • Intravenously through a needle
  • Orally as a pill
  • Injected in a muscle

Learn more about chemotherapy

Radiation

What it is: During radiation, our radiation specialists use advanced techniques to deliver radiation directly to cancerous cells while preserving the healthy tissue nearby.

How it works: When you have a tumor that is growing or has spread, radiation may be given before surgery to help increase the effectiveness of surgery. When radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments are used as a supplement to surgery, the recurrence of cancer is less than 10%, compared to historical rates of 20% to 30%.

Learn more about radiation treatment

Contact Us Today

877-715-HOPE

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

Learn more about:

Orthopedic Cancer Clinic Trials

Dr. Albert Aboulafia performs surgery on a patient.

Cancers of the bone and soft tissue can be complex to treat. Often, a clinical trial can provide a new option when other treatment options aren't the best solution for you. When you participate in a clinical trial you can get access to treatments years before they are available to the public.

Orthopedic cancer clinical trials are research studies that test the newest medical procedures or drugs to determine how safe and effective they are. These studies help to inform doctors and scientists about new and emerging cancer therapies, how they should be used, and which patients will benefit the most from these approaches.

The MedStar Health Research Institute conducts clinical investigations to improve the ability to diagnose and treat patients with orthopedic tumors. By participating in a clinical study at MedStar Health, you can not only play an active role in the treatment of your cancer, but possibly help others with orthopedic cancers in the future.

Because MedStar Health has an NCI-affiliated Cancer Center, we have access to the latest clinical trials available. Patients who participate in clinical trials receive, often at reduced or no cost:

  • The most advanced treatment options possible
  • Specialized, coordinated team-based care
  • Be among the first to benefit from a new therapy
  • An opportunity to help future cancer patients

How to Participate in a Clinic Trial for Orthopedic Cancer

To find out more about clinical trials taking place at the MedStar Health Research Institute, please call 301-560-7300.

The search for a clinical trial begins with your orthopedic cancer team. They will know which trials are available and what is most appropriate to explore based on your cancer type and stage. You can also search for trials online several ways:

Clinical Trials Frequently Asked Questions >>

Contact Us

Do you have a family history of orthopedic cancer? Do you need a second opinion or more advanced care? Please call us.

443-777-BONE

 

 

Our Locations

Orthopedic Cancer at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
The National Center for Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors
9103 Franklin Square Dr., Ste. 2200
Baltimore, MD 21237

 

Learn More

Urologic Cancer Treatment

Ryan Cleary Urologic Cancer Robotic
Ryan Cleary, MD, Urologist and Robotic Surgeon

MedStar Health is home to cancer specialists with recognized expertise in the treatment of prostate, kidney, bladder, and other urologic cancers. Our team, with decades of experience and fellowship-trained robotics surgeons, is dedicated to eliminating your cancer while minimizing the effects of treatment on your general health and lifestyle.

Our experts specialize in tailored-to-you combinations of the latest cancer-fighting techniques, including:

  • Chemotherapy for early stage treatment
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • The most advanced medical oncology and radiation oncology available
  • Surgical treatments
  • Support services including nurse navigators, nutritionists, psychologists, and more
  • Palliative services to help those with complex cases find relief from the symptoms and stress, improving quality of life for patients and families
  • Clinical trials

MedStar Health patients experience the best of both worlds: access to advanced academic medicine and an NCI affiliated location, and an expansive network allowing you to see a specialist close to your home or work.

Surgical Treatments

MedStar Health offers both traditional open surgeries and advanced robotic programs for all the malignancies: kidney, bladder, prostate, urethral, testicular. These cutting-edge procedures help reduce time in the hospital and in recovery. Some of our procedures include:

  • Radical cystectomy and neobladder
  • Minimally invasive robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic partial nephrectomy
  • Da Vinci® Robotic Surgery System
  • Prostatectomy
  • IMRT, image-guided radiation therapy and LDR brachytherapy
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound
  • Microwave therapy for renal masses
  • CyberKnife® and stereotactic

Combined Therapies. Team Approach.

Because we provide coordinated, multidisciplinary care, we can make targeted decisions that smaller hospitals and systems might not be able to support. This means better outcomes.

Your treatment team extends beyond your surgeon or oncologist. Your MedStar team also includes peer expert surgeons and oncologists, nurses who understand your cancer, physical therapists, genetic counselors, enterostomal therapists, clinical researchers, medical and radiation oncologists, palliative care and more. A physician assistant might also help to coordinate your care.

You can feel confident in the knowledge that our full team of experts meet to discuss your unique case. Our singular goal is to treat your cancer, which means we bring in experts from other specialties to help build the best plan for you. We will also bring in experts to help maximize your success, whether that means boosting your nutrition or genetic counseling due to your unique family history.

Treating Unique Patient Populations

MedStar Health is committed to treating the most unique and diverse populations, which means we are prepared to treat patients with very specific physical, religious and ethical needs.

We offer bloodless surgery for patients who refuse transfusions by helping to physically prepare them to eliminate the risk of transfusion. We also accommodate obese patients using robotic surgery, complementary nutritional treatments, larger beds and longer equipment.

Another unique group we serve are patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease or massively enlarged kidneys. Many of these patients end up on dialysis and have a higher risk of kidney cancer. We provide an easier path to transplant by removing the affected kidney. We track this problem closer than many hospitals and health systems, including genetic profiling for children of patients with the disease.

Clinical Trials

We provide access to many drugs and therapies before they are released to the general public. This allows patients who have failed standard therapies new options.

Learn more about clinical trials

Genetic Counseling

Family history of urologic cancer is a known risk factor for patients, but newer research has even connected breast cancer in the family as a risk factor for prostate cancer. Genetic counseling can help assess your risk of urologic cancers based on your family medical history of urologic and other cancers with known correlations to urologic cancers.

Our geneticists will work with you to review your family history, looking for factors that increase your likelihood of developing cancer. We will assist you in developing strategies to manage your unique cancer risk.

Meet our certified genetic counselor

Need a second opinion or more advanced care? We're ready to fight for you. Call 1-877-715-HOPE or find a urologic cancer specialist.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

Our Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
G23
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: 410-515-6090

Lung Cancer Surgery

Dr. Gamliel preparing for surgery.

Surgeons will evaluate the lungs for removal of cancer growths, also known as tumors. There are several different options for surgeons to remove lung tissue. These include a wedge resection, a segmentectomy, a lobectomy, and a pneumonectomy.

  • wedge resection is the removal of the tumor itself that includes some of the surrounding lung tissue or lymph nodes. This is a treatment option considered for early stage disease, specifically where patients have limited lung function.
  • segmentectomy is the removal of a section of the lung and significantly more of the lung tissue surrounding both the tumor and the lymph nodes. Some patients may have health problems that prevent a lobectomy, so the surgeon will assess if a segmentectomy is a suitable alternative to preserve lung function.
  • lobectomy is the removal of one lobe of the lungs while a pneumonectomy is the removal of all lobes of one lung. In general, surgeons try to remove as little lung as needed to eliminate the cancer. However, removal of the lymph nodes and draining the tumor is also important to help reduce the chance of the cancer from recurring. This procedure is the most common surgery performed to treat lung cancer because it removes the entire draining path for tumor cells and gives better assurance that there was not early cancer spread. Those with Stage I, Stage II or Stage IIIA cancer are potential candidates for a lobectomy. Lungs can function normally with the lobes that remain
  • pneumonectomy is the removal of an entire lung. This is only undertaken when there is no other option for removal of the lung cancer. This usually means that the tumor is very central (right next to the heart) and involves the main blood vessels to the lung. 

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest, as well as alleviate symptoms of lung cancer. It can be used in a variety of procedures, including biopsy, surgery, or removing excess fluid or air from around the lungs. Since only very small incisions are needed, healing is fast with minimal pain and complications.

In many patients for whom surgery is an option, VATS may be the preferred treatment. VATS is generally used in non-small cell lung cancer patients with stage I or II cancer, and select stage III patients. 

VATS offers patients a number of advantages over traditional open approach:

  • less pain after the operation
  • a better chance of breathing normally 
  • a better quality of life

While hospital stay can be prolonged by minor problems or complications, when discharged, VATS patients notice greater levels of independence and faster return to their preoperative activity levels than thoracotomy patients. Ultimately, no matter which surgical approach you choose, it is important to be as active as possible. Be sure to ask your doctor when you can resume normal activities. Returning to an active daily life after surgery is the ultimate goal.

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.

MedStar Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225 

Treatment

In The News

Dr. Suman Rao Co-Authors Lung Cancer Study

Lung Cancer Treatment

Image of Ziv Gamliel, MD, and Francois Gregoire, MD, members of the lung cancer team.

Ziv Gamliel, MD, and Francois Gregoire, MD, members of the lung cancer team. 

Once you are diagnosed with lung cancer, a team of oncology doctors, surgeons, and nurses will meet to review your case and design a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

Your treatment will vary based on:

  • How far cancer has spread
  • Your general health
  • Your personal preferences

We offer the most advanced treatment options that use minimally invasive technology to minimize pain and speed up your recovery time. You may even be eligible for a groundbreaking clinical trial that offers a safe and effective treatment not yet available to others.

Your treatment may include a combination of the following:

Learn more below.

Patient Story

Former ice dancing champion beats lung cancer, thanks to an innovative lung surgery. Watch her story below.

 

Chemotherapy Treatment

What it is: Chemotherapy is an effective way to destroy cancer cells that break off from the main tumor. During chemotherapy, your oncology specialists use special medicines to shrink and kill cancer cells in the lungs and other affected organs. It may be given through a pill, injected by a needle into a vein or muscle, or a combination of both.

How it works: During chemotherapy, a drug enters your bloodstream and circulates the body to destroy cancer cells. There are different kinds of chemotherapy options for lung cancer, including targeted therapy and immunotherapy that more precisely kill cancerous cells in the lungs while minimizing damage to healthy cells.

Learn more about chemotherapy.

Immunotherapy

What it is: Immunotherapy is a targeted type of chemotherapy that uses your immune system to aggressively fight back against lung cancer cells

How it works: Your immune system is naturally equipped to protect you from disease. Today, there are new immunotherapy drugs that help your immune system attack cancer cells with more strength than before.

Learn more about immunotherapy.

 

Radiation Treatment

What it is: Radiation uses high-energy rays, similar to x-rays, to kill cancerous cells in the lungs. Different kinds of radiation therapy offer benefits for lung cancer tumors, including the minimally-invasive CyberknifeⓇ treatment for tumors that are difficult or impossible to operate on.

How it works: During radiation therapy, a radiation oncologist uses the latest technology to deliver doses of radiation at various sizes, shapes, and locations, depending on your tumor. This allows them to destroy cancerous cells, prevent growth, and protect healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure.

Learn more about radiation treatment

CyberKnife® Radiation

What it is: CyberKnife® is one of the most advanced forms of radiation therapy which uses multiple x-ray cameras and technology to ensure extreme precision. As a result, CyberKnife® is extremely effective in killing cancerous cells in the lung while leaving surrounding healthy tissue untouched.

How it works: Lung cancer can be challenging to treat with traditional radiation because your lungs naturally move as you breathe, making it difficult to focus radiation on the tumor. CyberKnife® uses state-of-the-art computer and imaging technology to follow the tumor’s movements—even as you breathe, making it one of the most effective treatments for lung cancer.

Learn more about CyberKnife® radiation.

 

Lung Cancer Surgery

What it is: When lung cancer is advanced, your best treatment option may be for a surgeon to remove cancerous tissue from your lungs.

How it works: There are four major types of surgeries used to treat lung cancer, depending on how large the cancerous tumor is in your lung. They range from the removal of a small tumor in the lung to the removal of an entire lung. Some patients may be candidates for a minimally invasive procedure called video-assisted thoracic surgery.

 

Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

What it is: Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgery that can be used to collect a biopsy, perform surgery, or remove excess fluid and air from around the lungs.

How it works: VATS can be used in a variety of surgical procedures to treat lung cancer tumors and symptoms. Because it only requires one or two small incisions, you can expect a faster recovery with less pain than traditional surgery.

Learn more about lung cancer surgery.

Our Locations

MedStar Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Angelos Center for Lung Diseases
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

Colon Cancer Diagnosis

Image of P. Jeffrey Ferris, MD, colon and rectal surgeon

P. Jeffrey Ferris, MD, Colon and Rectal Surgeon

At MedStar Health Cancer Network cancer centers in Baltimore, we understand how difficult a colon cancer diagnosis can be for you or your loved one. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer, you can rely on our devoted colon cancer teams, from treatment to follow-up care. Our knowledgeable doctors and nurses will answer any questions you may have during the diagnosis and will be with you every step of the way.

Call Us Today

877-715-HOPE

Location Information

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225

Our goal at MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network is to complete the diagnostic phase promptly so that you can begin treatment as soon as possible. We use the most advanced diagnostic technology to diagnose and stage your cancer because we know that the more accurate your diagnosis, the more precise your treatment regimen will be.

Oncologists believe many cases can be cured, as long as they are diagnosed early. Unfortunately, most patients don't schedule regular preventive examinations and only seek medical attention when they have symptoms. As a result, colon cancer is usually diagnosed after it has left the bowel lining and progressed beyond the site of origin.

At MedStar Health cancer centers, we advise our patients to get tested at a younger age and more frequently if they have certain risk factors. These include a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, a relative with a genetic colon cancer syndrome or a personal history of colon cancer, adenomatous polyps  or inflammatory bowel disease.

Diagnostic Tests

Doctors at the MedStar Health Cancer Network use a variety of tests to diagnose colon cancer and determine if it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body. These tests may also help your doctor determine which treatment will be most effective.

In most cases, a biopsy is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis. Your MedStar doctor will consider several factors when deciding which diagnostic test is right for you, such as your age, medical history, type of cancer suspected, symptoms and previous tests.

  • Colonoscopy - A colonoscopy allows your MedStar doctor to see inside your rectum and colon to find polyps or other signs of colon cancer.
  • Biopsy - In a biopsy, your MedStar doctor will remove a small amount of tissue from your rectum or colon and examine it under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. Other tests can be used to suggest whether or not cancer is present, but only a biopsy can definitively diagnose it.
  • Molecular testing - Your MedStar doctor may use molecular testing to determine if your treatment options include targeted therapy.
  • Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan - A CT scan may be used to help your MedStar Health Cancer Network doctor determine if colon cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

In addition to these tests, your doctor may use a blood test, MRI, ultrasound or other tests to help diagnose colon cancer.

Once your diagnostic tests are complete, your doctor will review the results. If the tests show that the cancer is present, the results of your tests will help your doctor determine the stage of cancer and which treatments options will be most effective.

Colon Cancer Diagnosis Second Opinion

Getting a second opinion means asking a colon cancer specialist, aside from your initial physician, to review your medical reports and test results and then provide a diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The specialist may confirm your initial diagnosis and treatment recommendations, provide additional treatment options, or even give more details about your type and stage of colon cancer. Even if you’ve already had treatment, it’s not too late to get a second opinion. To get a second opinion contact our colon cancer specialists by calling us at 877-715-HOPE.