Thoracic Conditions We Treat

Thoracic experts at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center offer comprehensive care for all types of cancers and other conditions that occur in the chest. We use advanced techniques and personalized treatments to help you receive the support you need throughout your care. We treat both common and rare thoracic cancers, as well as other thoracic conditions, including:

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

More men and women lose their lives to lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Approximately 85 percent of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma. These cancers, like all lung cancers, may be caused by damage to the lungs the body cannot repair. Smoking, breathing in hazardous substances such as radon and asbestos, and other factors can damage the lungs.

Imaging tests are often the first techniques used to detect lung cancer. Your physician may use chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for lung cancer. To confirm a lung cancer diagnosis, your physician may take a sample of your lung tissues using a needle (biopsy) or may look for cancer cells in your mucus. Your team of physicians will help find the right cancer treatment for you.

Small Cell Lung Cancer

Though small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer, it grows rapidly and spreads to other parts of the body faster. Early detection through lung cancer screenings can help you receive more effective care for this cancer.

We can detect lung cancer using imaging techniques such as chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Your physician may also look for cancer cells in your mucus or by taking a sample of your lung tissue using a needle (biopsy). Based on your test results, your team of physicians will guide you to a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is a relatively rare cancer, with fewer than 17,000 cases each year in the Unites States. It begins in the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach). Smoking, obesity and conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus can increase your risk for esophageal cancer.

We diagnose esophageal cancer using advanced imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans or minimally invasive endoscopy, which uses a specialized camera to examine the inside of your throat. These tests help your doctor identify cancer and plan effective treatment. Our thoracic cancer care team will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.

Mediastinal Tumors

Mediastinal tumors are rare cancers that grow in the tissues between your lungs. They often cause no symptoms. Even though not all mediastinal tumors are cancerous, they should be removed so they don’t affect your heart or lungs.

Our multidisciplinary team will evaluate your mediastinal tumor using chest X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We also may use a minimally invasive procedure called mediastinoscopy to place a small camera inside your chest. Our physicians use the camera to examine your tumor and take a tissue sample for study in a lab.

Based on your diagnostic tests, your thoracic cancer care team will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach) twice a week or more. You may experience reflux if the opening between your stomach and esophagus is weakened or opens abnormally due to pregnancy, obesity or other conditions.

GERD can cause many symptoms, including painful heartburn, chest pain or difficulty swallowing. Over time, GERD can cause a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which raises your risk for esophageal cancer.

Our experts can diagnose GERD with minimally invasive tests. We may use endoscopy to place a small camera in your esophagus to check for the causes or symptoms of GERD.

Depending on the severity or cause of your GERD, your care team will help determine the right treatment plan for you.