The center comprises several departments: The Pulmonary Institute, the Thoracic Surgery Department, the Radiology Department, the Oncological Department and the National Cancer Research Institute, which is located in the Carmel Hospital.
Part of the Center's activities are various tests and evaluations, designed to provide a proper and accurate medical response to each patient, as it is done today in world-leading medical centers that follow the approach of "personalized medicine".
The Types of Activity
Testing for early diagnosis of lung cancer – the American Oncology Association recommends performing a low-radiation CT scan of the chest without contrast material for people who are 55-74 years old with a 30-year smoking history who have smoked or quit smoking in the last 15 years.
Diagnosis of Suspected Lung Cancer Findings
The Interventional Bronchoscopy Unit – The Pulmonary Institute can now perform advanced tests using integrated ultrasound (US) bronchoscopy, which allows the sampling of suspicious lesions in the lung, in a micro-invasive operation, which allows for the patient's discharge within several hours following the procedure.
The Pulmonary Institute at Carmel Medical Center is the only center in the entire Northern District that performs these advanced tests and that has the largest facility and best experience in the country in this field.
Assessing the spread of the cancerous tumor: in case lung cancer was diagnosed, the nest stage is finding out to what extent it has spread in the body. This process is called staging, and it determines how much the tumor has spread and whether it has reached the lymph nodes or metastasized to other organs. The results of these tests will help the healthcare team to recommend the appropriate treatment. Patients who require assessment of whether the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes previously had to undergo surgery – mediastinoscopy, in which lymph node biopsies were taken. Today, with the help of US-guided bronchoscopy, samples can be taken from many glands, including ones that are unreachable by surgery. This examination saves hospitalization and surgery and the patient is discharged within several hours of it.
The X-ray (imaging) Institute – taking a CT- or US-guided biopsy from a pulmonary finding for diagnosing pulmonary lesions.
Treating Patients Diagnosed with Lung Cancer
Once a week, a multidisciplinary meeting takes place, attended by all staff doctors from the various medical fields. Every patient is discussed, and decisions are made regarding the most suitable plan of investigation and treatment, aimed at providing a swift and optimal response.
Thoracic Surgery Department
Patients for whom it has been decided that the optimal treatment is surgery undergo a comprehensive preoperative assessment in the Thoracic Surgery Department. Most surgical treatments are currently performed using advanced technologies and minimally-invasive surgical methods without the need to open up the chest. These surgical approaches enable rapid recovery from surgery and minimize the pain associated with surgery. Patients can be given a quick response, and, post-surgery, a follow-up treatment.
The Oncology Institute
Patients who need chemotherapy or radiation are referred to the Oncology Institute for further treatment and follow-up. Clinical studies are being carried out at the Institute, with new drugs specific to lung cancer.
Some patients receive a treatment program that combines chemical and radiational therapy and later surgical intervention. The program is coordinated between the Thoracic Surgery Department and the Oncology Institute, and a complete and continuous treatment is maintained.
National Cancer Center
As part of the National Center located at Carmel Medical Center, advanced molecular tests are performed to determine the provision of advanced biological treatment to the patient.
In cases that require rapid diagnosis due to the patient's condition, the entire diagnostic and treatment process is done within 24-48 hours. The patient is admitted to the Thoracic Surgery Department, and all necessary tests, including sending the findings back from the Pathology Institute, are completed in a very short time to give the patient the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.