You will need to decide for yourself which hospital to select when you or a loved one requires treatment for lung cancer, but there are a few attributes that make a healthcare facility stand out.
Lung cancer treatment involves multiple facets of medical care, each of which is essential for a hospital to provide the best care possible. Many healthcare facilities excel in one or more aspects but come up short in others. You should not have to bounce around from one hospital to another to get the care you need. The highest-quality providers will check all the boxes on your list.
Diagnosis and Staging Accuracy
The best hospitals for lung cancer treatment will consistently provide correct diagnoses. When a facility produces too many false negative or false positive diagnoses, the patients could experience a lower survival rate, or undergo unnecessary medical procedures.
Good lung cancer hospitals also need to identify the stage of cancer accurately. For example, when stage 1 lung cancer gets misidentified as stage 4, the patient loses the option for some types of treatment, and could undergo more radical and risky treatment options than necessary. On the other hand, when stage 4 lung cancer gets wrongly tagged as stage 1, the prescribed treatment will likely be inadequate to treat the disease.
The best hospitals for lung cancer treatment will have skilled pathologists and high-quality equipment to differentiate between small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and
non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and to stage the cancer correctly. The facility needs to have on-site biopsy.
Treatment that Focuses on Cancer
After the accurate diagnosis and staging, the hospital must follow up with the right treatment. The highest-quality lung cancer hospitals will be able to provide the treatment the cancer patient needs, which can include:
- Resection of the malignancy
- Adjuvant chemotherapy
- Radiation therapy
- Combined radiation and chemotherapy
- Platinum-based doublet chemotherapy
Ideally, the diagnosis and treatment will take place at the same facility. The appropriate cancer treatment will depend on the circumstances of each patient.
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Many people experience unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment and from the disease itself. The best lung cancer treatment hospitals offer a full spectrum of care for these adverse symptoms and implement protocols to prevent some of the side effects.
Nausea and vomiting often plague people going through chemotherapy. Some patients can avoid these miserable side effects if the hospital uses a combination of drugs that addresses the gastrointestinal upset.
Pain management can be challenging, particularly for a patient with late-stage lung cancer. The hospital should implement a pain-control protocol that helps to minimize the discomfort while carefully monitoring and assessing the use of opioid drugs.
The hospital should have the equipment and qualified personnel to administer radiation therapy if the lung cancer metastasizes to the brain. Also, the disease can cause compression of the spinal cord. When the provider suspects that the patient might have metastatic spinal cord compression, the facility should have a protocol to:
- Start the patient on steroids within 24 hours.
- Perform a myelography or spinal MRI within 24 hours.
- Once imaging studies confirm spinal cord compression, initiate radiation, or respond with surgery within 24 hours of confirmation.
The facility needs to have psychiatric and psychological services tailored to cancer patients. The hospital should address the issues of mental health and wellness with every patient.
These recommendations are general guidelines. The actual steps to take will depend on the individual patient’s situation.
Care for End-of-Life
When lung cancer reaches the end-of-life stage, the hospital should provide seamless care or referral for comfort care. The facility should offer these services on both an outpatient and inpatient basis.
The best hospitals for lung cancer treatment should screen the patient’s pain levels using an objective-assessment method. The patient should receive adequate pain management, including short-acting opioid drugs as appropriate. If the hospital does not provide palliative or hospice care, it should refer the patient for these services.
Getting Legal Help
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we work hard to hold the person who caused your injury responsible. If someone else’s negligence may have caused you or a loved one to develop lung cancer, or if you have experienced medical malpractice, we want to help.
You should not have to pay for the medical bills and make up for lost income because someone else harmed you. If we take your case, we can fight tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve.
There are no legal fees upfront. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that our legal fees come out of the award at the end of the case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.