Incidental Lung Nodule Program
Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital's lung cancer program is committed to finding better, faster ways to detect and diagnose lung cancer. Our team of experts is using new software to track patients with lung nodules and a new robot to provide minimally invasive biopsies. These technologies are designed to improve patient care and outcomes.
What is the Incidental Lung Nodule Program?
Lung cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States, and catching it early dramatically improves the chances of survival and even cure. At LCRH, we are committed to the early detection of lung cancer.
National studies show that about a third of all CT scans reveal an incidental finding. Because of this, the Incidental Lung Nodule Program was developed to identify patients with incidental nodules through artificial intelligence software.
The Incidental Lung Nodule Program uses software to scan all CT scan reports from patients. It flags predefined keywords, such as nodule, mass, lesion, and lung, to help identify patients with potential lung nodules. The multidisciplinary team of surgeons, pulmonologists, and radiologists review imaging for each patient.
Then, the team develops a plan that could include recommendations for additional CT scans, a biopsy, or a consult with pulmonary medicine. The lung nodule navigator communicates the plan to the patient and their primary doctor.
The navigator is the point person to ensure that the patient doesn’t fall through the cracks and leads patients from detection to diagnosis, ensuring that patients get to the appropriate next level of care.
If a nodule is determined to be cancer, lung cancer navigators help guide patients through the cancer treatment process and coordinate care.
A Multidisciplinary Care Team Approach
- If a lung nodule is picked up during a CT scan, a software system will alert the lung nodule team.
- Patients who need evaluation by the nodule clinic will be offered an appointment within one week of notification.
- A pulmonary specialist will evaluate them, and a plan will be established according to guidelines, including a wide variety of diagnostic and treatment options depending on the characteristics of the nodule.