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Lung Cancer Program

Franciscan Health System’s Lung Cancer Program offers specialized care within the circle of Franciscan cancer care offered to patients throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington. When you are referred to our expert team, you’re assured the care of a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Learn more about our lung cancer specialists.

Lung Nodule Clinic

In response to a growing number of patients being diagnosed with nodules in their lungs, Franciscan Thoracic Oncology has developed an innovative approach to ensuring at-risk patients receive early diagnosis and treatment, if necessary. Early detection and treatment of cancerous lung nodules is critical, as lung cancer treatment is more successful when discovered in its early stages.

Team care

The Lung Nodule Clinic team specializes in treating patients with lung cancer. As a multi-disciplinary team, it is comprised of thoracic, pulmonary, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and radiology physician specialists, and a thoracic cancer navigator.

The Lung Nodule Clinic is a partnership between Franciscan Health System, Northwest Medical Specialties, Pulmonary Consultants, Tacoma/Valley Radiation Oncology Centers and TRA Medical Imaging.

Patient care and benefits

Most patients referred to the clinic have lung nodules after a recent chest x-ray or CT scan during a primary care clinic visit or in the emergency department. The cancer navigator, a nurse specializing in thoracic care, coordinates the most appropriate and time-sensitive care path with each patient and the multi-disciplinary team.

At the Lung Nodule Clinic, patients receive:

  • a timely assessment, diagnosis and recommended care plan
  • access to care, as the cancer navigator guides patients through the treatment process, working collaboratively with each patient’s health care team
  • scheduled follow-ups at 3-6, 12, 18 or 24 months, as appropriate
  • patient education and assistance, especially helping to ease anxiety after a troubling diagnosis
  • access to our virtual clinic, which means patients go directly to the specialists involved in their care


Patients need a referral from their primary care physician for the virtual Lung Nodule Clinic. A board-certified pulmonary physician will screen all patients and initiate appropriate next steps with our multi-disciplinary specialists.

For more information or to submit a referral, please contact:
Debbie Hellers, RN, BSN, OCN
Thoracic Cancer Navigator
Phone: 253-426-4672
Pager: 253-207-9874

Treating Lung Cancer
Treating Lung Cancer; Meet Andrea Rose, MD, medical oncologist at Northwest Medical Specialties  

Treating Lung Cancer
Treating Lung Cancer; Meet Paul Mitsuyama, MD of the Radiation Oncology Center at St. Francis  

Treating Lung Cancer
Treating Lung Cancer; Meet Dr. Baiya Krishnadasan of Franciscan Cardiothoracic Surgery Associates at St. Joseph