Chest & lung cancer care in Tennessee | Ascension
Woman with nurse; thoracic lung specialists at Ascension deliver advanced care and support.

Comprehensive care for chest and lung cancers

Ascension Saint Thomas delivers advanced lung care – from early detection to comprehensive cancer treatment.

At Ascension Saint Thomas in Nashville, Tennessee, our experienced lung cancer specialists are part of a national team of doctors, sharing best practices and advanced treatment options for lung cancer care, chest cancers and benign lung nodules – bringing the best of oncology to you, close to home.

Comprehensive care for lung and chest cancer

When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas, you get a multidisciplinary team of doctors, prioritizing early and personalized treatment: board-certified, fellowship-trained thoracic surgeons, pulmonary medicine specialists, radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, a care navigator, and a dedicated team of oncology nurses, dietitians and cancer specialists. Your doctors and care team will deliver a customized care plan for your cancer, from diagnosis through survivorship. We treat many types of cancer, including:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Large cell lung cancer
  • Lung carcinoid tumor
  • Mesothelioma, cancer that forms in the tissue that lines many internal organs
  • Metastatic lung cancer
  • Non-cancerous lung nodules
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Tracheal cancer

When you’re going through lung cancer care, we’re by your side

Cancer is personal, so is the way we care for you. When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas cancer care, you’re never alone. You’ll have face-to-face visits with your doctor, and you’ll have an entire care team, dedicated to your care – connecting the dots for you. Your doctor and care navigator will take the time to answer all your questions – big and small.  By getting to know you and working together, you get a care plan that’s customized to your needs. And with a plan, comes hope. Our goal is to help you recover faster so you can get back to life.

Along the way, your care may require imaging, lab tests, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, or other specialists -- you do not have to navigate your care alone. Upon your cancer diagnosis, or when you come to us during your cancer care, you’re paired with a cancer care navigator. Your care navigator will help you schedule appointments, connect with other services you need, and answer your questions. No question is too small -- when you have a concern or feel unsure, don’t hesitate to talk with your care team and ask your questions.


Stay connected with your personal cancer care navigator

Your care navigator will help you schedule appointments, connect you with other services, and answer your questions. When you have a concern or feel unsure, don’t hesitate to talk with your care team and ask your questions.

Get a second opinion on your cancer diagnosis or care plan

Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and care plan are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion at Ascension Saint Thomas. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized care plan.

When you are facing a new lung cancer diagnosis or are deciding on a surgical or therapeutic treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about. Our lung cancer specialists can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of a national team.

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records from your doctor on your behalf, so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.


Benefits of our approach to chest and lung cancer care

Cancer specialists who know you and your condition review your treatment and progress. They work together to customize your overall care plan to support your physical well-being and mental and emotional health.

Ascension Saint Thomas Cancer Care offers comprehensive cancer care, including:

  • Specialized care for lung nodules: Pulmonologists specialize in diagnosing and treating lung nodules. A lung nodule is a small mass that may or may not be cancerous. Our screening and surveillance program has been named a Screening Center of Excellence and Care Continuum Center of Excellence by the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.
  • Robotic and thoracic lung surgery: Surgeons specialize in video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) using smaller, more precise incisions to remove lung nodules and tumors.
  • Medical oncology: Medical oncologists work with your surgeon to deliver advanced care (chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy) to help stop cancer spread.
  • Radiation oncology: Advanced radiation therapy is used to target and destroy cancer cells while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Clinical trials: If you want to learn more about other possible cancer care options, talk to your doctor. You may want to ask whether cancer clinical trials are the right option for you.
  • Genetic counseling and testing: If you are high-risk or have a family history of cancer, we deliver cancer genetic screening, testing and counseling to help you and your doctor better understand your risk for developing cancer.
  • High-risk lung cancer monitoring program: At Ascension Saint Thomas, we offer a comprehensive approach to identifying and monitoring an individual’s risk for developing lung cancer and other chest cancers.
  • Oncology rehabilitation with respiratory therapy: Highly trained respiratory therapists deliver therapy to help manage symptoms, such as swelling and pain.
  • Support programs and resources: Your cancer care team provides support from nutrition education and counseling to cancer support groups, yoga and spiritual care. And, at Ascension Saint Thomas sites of care, our healing gardens and chapels are always open to patients and your loved ones. We offer supportive care and activities for the whole you.

Lung screenings help detect cancer early

The first step is to find out if a low-dose CT lung screening is right for you. Talk with your doctor. If you need help to stop smoking, your doctor can connect you to our respiratory therapy, smoking and tobacco cessation program. We recommend annual low-dose CT screenings for:

  • Smokers without symptoms and former smokers aged 50 to 80 who have smoked 20 pack-years or more (this means one pack a day for 20 years, OR two packs a day for 10 years, etc.) and either continue to smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
  • Smokers without symptoms and former smokers outside of the smoking and age criteria listed above but are deemed high risk of having/developing lung cancer (risk factors can include family history of lung cancer, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and exposure to certain substances exposures).

Ascension Saint Thomas, in partnership with Premier Radiology, offers imaging locations close to home – from dedicated low-dose CT lung screening to minimally invasive, image-guided lung biopsy. Find your closest Premier Radiology location and book online.


Frequently asked questions about our chest and lung cancer care services

  • What is your cancer center known for?

    Your doctor and care team get to know you well, and you’ll receive care for the whole person – from physical health and well-being to mental and emotional health. At Ascension Saint Thomas, we provide innovative medication treatments, the latest surgical technologies and techniques, high-tech radiation facilities and support services. When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas, you get a national team of experienced cancer specialists, sharing best practices and the latest in cancer care knowledge and research.

    At Ascension Saint Thomas, we provide many primary and advanced treatments for lung cancer, esophageal cancer and chest cancers, including:

    • Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer
    • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) for staging and lung cancer management
    • Immunotherapy and targeted genomic drug therapy
    • Lung resection surgery
    • Radiation therapy: stereotactic ablative radiation therapy and abstract radiation therapy
    • Robotic surgery with Gamma Knife(R) technology
    • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
    • Robotic-assisted bronchoscopy
  • What tests are used to diagnose lung cancer?

    Your care team focuses on identifying if the tumor is non-invasive or invasive, and to understand where the tumor began and whether or not the cancer has spread. Diagnostic blood testing, chest imaging and a biopsy of lung cells help your doctor diagnose your condition and stage even the most rare cancers. And we use advanced molecular studies to recognize lung cancer subtypes to create a care plan for your type of cancer.

  • Who is on my cancer care team?

    Hearing the word cancer comes with a lot of thoughts and emotions, and we’re ready to support you. You'll meet with your doctor to discuss your diagnosis and your care options. At Ascension Saint Thomas, your care team may include:

    • Pulmonary medicine specialist
    • Thoracic surgeon
    • Medical oncologist
    • Lung nurse navigator
    • Oncology-dedicated dietitian and social worker
    • Palliative care specialist
    • Radiation oncologist
    • Radiologist
    • Respiratory therapist

    Together, we will decide on a care plan. And your entire care team will stay connected throughout your care to discuss your treatment and progress.

  • Who should I contact when I have questions?

    When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas for your cancer care, you get an entire team dedicated to your care. You may have a lot of concerns and questions. Your doctor and care navigator are ready to listen and answer your questions. Working together, we offer services that help support your treatment plan, including managing pain and other symptoms, medications, appetite changes, sleeplessness, fatigue and mood changes. Your entire care team stays connected throughout your care to discuss your treatment and progress.

  • Is financial assistance and support available?

    We can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial counseling team is here to listen to your concerns and work with you to help find options that meet your needs. Your cancer care navigator can connect you to a financial counselor.

  • Where do I park?

    At Ascension Saint Thomas cancer centers and clinics we offer convenient parking, by a valet if needed. Talk to your care navigator if you have transportation needs.

  • My doctor told me about an enhanced recovery program, what is that?

    Surgical oncologists and anesthesiologists provide enhanced recovery pathways as part of your care plan. They are an important part of our cancer treatment programs. Each pathway is personalized for different types of cancer treatment to help speed up your recovery after surgery. Your care team uses these protocols to help you prepare for what to expect before, during and after surgery.

All registered marks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Featured locations

Quit smoking - we can help!

Watch our smoking cessation class, presented by the team at Ascension Saint Thomas cancer care.