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Wheeling Hospital launches lung nodule center

December 16, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

WHEELING - Wheeling Hospital has launched a Lung Nodule Evaluation Center, designed to provide a comprehensive team approach to managing patients' lung abnormalities.

The center, the first of its kind in the region, will benefit patients and their family physicians by providing a central location to refer cases, according to officials. A team of pulmonologists, radiologists, chest surgeons and oncologists will be available to evaluate the patient, their medical records and all lung images to coordinate a multidisciplinary approach toward evaluation of the nodule, officials said.

"The new center is yet another example of our commitment of helping area residents find specialized care close to their homes. There is now no need to leave the area for this type of comprehensive team approach to dealing with lung nodules," said Wheeling Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ron Violi.

Among the members of the team are Dr. Jondavid Pollock, a radiation oncologist at Wheeling Hospital's Schiffler Cancer Center; pulmonologist Dr. Richard Ryncarz; and cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Victor Maevsky and Dr. Mehdi Akhavan-Heidari. Additional physician specialists are planned for the center .

"Approximately 90 percent of lung nodules do not cause symptoms and are often identified on a chest X-ray or chest CT scan when a patient is being evaluated for other medical problems," Pollock said. "Now, upon identifying the nodule, the patient's physician may contact the new clinic for rapid evaluation of the patient and all tests performed to date. The center's team can then prescribe an appropriate and efficient plan to further evaluate the nodule, coordinating all efforts with the patient's other doctors."

Pollock indicated that nodules are often benign (non-cancerous) and do not require further evaluation, particularly if they are small and have remained stable over a long period of time. However, he said, new nodules, or those larger than 1 centimeter, with certain characteristics or seen in present or past smokers, generally require a more comprehensive evaluation. That evaluation may include a repeat X-ray, CT scan, biopsy or surgery.

"New minimally invasive diagnostic methods, with fewer side effects, are available to our patients today and the clinic team is very skilled with the latest technologies present," noted Pollock.

The Lung Nodule Evaluation Center is located in the hospital's Tower 4 and can be reached by telephoning (304) 243-3353.

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