Central New York

Upstate University Hospital Uses Teamwork to Help Cancer Patients

Upstate University Hospital says it has the shortest length of stay for lung surgery in Central New York ©2018 Michelle Houston


Audio transcript:  Thoracic Oncology Program Script

Click The Link Above to Hear how the Thoracic Program is Changing Cancer Treatment. 

By Michelle Houston Syracuse, N.Y (NCC NEWS)–The Thoracic Oncology Program also known as TOP, was created nearly twenty years ago in Syracuse. According to The Upstate University Hospital, it is still the only one in Central New York.

If needed, lung cancer surgery is performed in the program. These procedures, known as VATS Lobectomies involve the use of a camera and small surgical cuts. According to the University Hospital, it has performed more than one hundred procedures.

If patients are suspected of having lung cancer or are diagnosed with lung cancer, they may seek medical opinions from several sources. The Thoracic program allows patients to be seen by different specialists, at once.

Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery, Dr. Leslie Kohman says working together provides a different outcome.

“And they can together devise the best course of treatment for the patient and it saves the patient a lot of time at that particular stage..”, said Kohman.

In the Thoracic Oncology Program patients are seen by experts in Thoracic Surgery, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Pulmonary Medicine, Thoracic Radiology, and Cytopathology.

Dr. Kohman says TOP, is not the only department where teamwork happens.

“Our Thoracic Oncology Program has been a model for all the other multidisciplinary programs that we have here”, Kohman said.

The additional multidisciplinary programs are focused on breast cancer, head and neck cancer, liver and pancreas cancer as well as other cancer programs.

According to the American Cancer Society, an annual report shows the death rate from cancer is continuing to drop.