Lung and Thoracic Cancer


The Thoracic Oncology Service at The University of Tennessee Medical Center provides a unique service for patients with suspected or known lung and thoracic cancer. This service is designed to evaluate and manage patients with abnormal chest x-rays showing a nodule, mass, unresolved pneumonia, lung or esophageal cancer. We manage the care of patients with the highest risk factors for lung cancer with the ability to provide screenings for early detection.

As a leader in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of thoracic malignancies, coordination of care between specialists is maximized to provide quality comprehensive care. Physician appointments include evaluation, physical exam, laboratory testing and diagnostic studies leading to diagnosis and a plan of care.

At the weekly multidisciplinary thoracic tumor conference, each patient’s case is reviewed by our team of specialists and recommendations for treatment are made and an individualized care plan developed. The Thoracic Oncology Service nurse navigator assists with expediting and coordinating each referral while providing information and support to the patient and family.

The lung and thoracic cancers we treat include:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Mediastinal tumors — Mediastinal tumors are tumors that develop in the mediastinum, the area of the chest that separates the lungs and contains the heart, aorta, esophagus and trachea. These tumors can be seen in the front (anterior), middle, or back (posterior) of the mediastinum.

Your Care at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute at The University of Tennessee Medical Center offers the broadest spectrum of cancer specialists and services to care for our patients with lung and thoracic cancers. Cancer patients receive all of their cancer care including surgical consultations, radiation therapy, genetic counseling/testing, chemotherapy infusions, and supportive/integrative health services, all in the same building.

Patients are reviewed at our weekly multidisciplinary conference where surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, genetic counselors, nurses and clinical trials coordinators gather to determine the best individualized treatment plan for each patient. This level of coordination ensures that patients are receiving the highest level of care, offering the best outcomes and quality of life.

Treatment options are provided towards comprehensive education, prevention, risk reduction and diagnostics that include:


The pulmonologists at the University of Tennessee Medical Center offer advanced techniques that assist in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer such as computer assisted navigational bronchoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound.

Cardiothoracic Surgeons

A cardiothoracic (CT) surgeon is a medical doctor who performs operations on the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. The board certified CT surgeons at the University of Tennessee Medical Center provide expertise and experience in the evaluation and surgical treatment of lung and esophageal cancers. The CT surgeons work closely with all other oncology specialists and offer advanced surgical techniques including minimally invasive and robotically assisted surgery options.

Your care team may also include:

Clinical Trials

Cutting-edge treatment is offered to patients along with opportunities to participate in National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies made available to patients that offer the newest treatments and test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat diseases.

For more information, visit Clinical Trials or call 865-305-9773.

Your Next Steps

One call to the Thoracic Oncology Service Navigators (865-305-5385) by the patient or the referring physician results in a prompt evaluation and the expediting of care for each patient with findings suspicious for cancer or a known cancer diagnosis. Navigators are specially trained nurses who provide assistance to patients and families by coordinating care and providing information, education and support.

All specialists and procedures are available in one location on the campus of The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Our Cancer Institute team is here for you in what can be a very stressful time. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and request help when you need it. You can reach the Cancer Institute by calling 865-305-5385. Our new patient section will provide you additional information about the Cancer Institute and everything you need to know to prepare for your first visit.

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