Lung Cancer Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Americans. It is estimated that 165,000 new cases will be diagnosed each year. With advances in the early detection and new treatment options, many of these individuals can be cured.

The Pulmonary Medicine Division has established a clinic to evaluate patients with indeterminate lung nodules, masses, a tumor, or fluid in the lung (pleural effusion). Some of these problems may turn out to result from lung cancer. The Lung Cancer Clinic team is composed of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and others who are dedicated to and involved with the care of patients with a possible or proven diagnosis of lung cancer. Their goal is to fully evaluate the whole patient, not just treat someone with a diagnosis. We believe that treating the "disease" is not enough. Patients and their families both are all affected by lung cancer.

Patient Focused Care

When a patient is told they may have a "lung cancer," one of the first things that goes through their minds is, "What do I do now?" Here at Mayo Clinic a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and scientists focuses entirely on the evaluation and treatment of patients with lung cancer. Working together as a team with our patients, we strive to provide all patients with answers to their questions and to develop a treatment plan that meets their health care needs. Dr. Mayo once said, "The needs of the patients come first." That statement is still the credo by which we practice medicine at Mayo Clinic.


The words lung nodule, mass, or tumor are certainly frightening words for people to hear. It can be difficult to cope with the anxiety surrounding the unknown. Patients undergoing examinations at Mayo's Lung Cancer Clinic will be evaluated with the most up-to-date technology available. This may include conventional chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI, and PET scanning. Mayo Clinic pulmonary physicians have expertise in flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy for diagnosis. Your team of health care providers will help decide which diagnostic tests are best for you.


The treatment of lung cancer varies based on type and stage of disease. Some patients receive chemotherapy, whereas others may be treated with radiation therapy or surgery. Some patients may be best treated with combinations of different treatments. The type of treatment that is best for you or your loved one will be decided upon after all diagnostic and staging information has been obtained.

One important piece of information is the cell type. Another factor in determining the best treatment is the stage of the cancer. There may also be other factors, such as emphysema or heart disease, that influence the treatment plan for each patient. After careful evaluation, your team will help you decide what is best for you.


Referring physicians may refer a patient by calling


W. Mark Brutinel, M.D.
Eric S. Edell, M.D.
William P. Holland, P.A.
David E. Midthun, M.D.
Eric J. Olson, M.D.
Udaya B. S. Prakash, M.D.
Jeffrey T. Rabatin, M.D.
Karen L. Swanson, D.O.