Lung Cancer Awareness Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Puchalski

What would you like our patients and families to pause and remember as we celebrate Lung Cancer Awareness Month?

You are not alone. There is an extensive team of professionals who can assist you with every step of diagnosis and treatment.

How do you work with the Center for Thoracic Cancers to care for your patients?

As an interventional pulmonologist, my role is often to perform bronchoscopy or pleural procedures to diagnose cancer or help improve shortness of breath. I work closely with medical and radiotherapy oncology, as well as thoracic surgery, to provide advanced lung procedures for the patients.

What advances over the past 5 years have had the greatest impact on the treatment of patients with lung cancer?

Profound advances have been made in types of chemotherapy and other treatment options for patients with cancer. In my field, progress has been made in ways to drain fluid that builds up around the lungs and relieve shortness of breath. There have also been revolutionary changes in diagnosing and treating symptoms of lung cancer through bronchoscopy.

Clinical studies are often the best option for therapy. How do you explain this to patients who may be hesitant?

By participating in clinical trials, patients lead the way in research that can extend or improve their lives. These trials also help the “community” of people around the world who are experiencing similar illnesses.

Is there any advice or support you are trying to give to your patients and their families? Words of hope?

I am honest about the expectations and the reality of the treatment. There is always hope, depending on the patient’s circumstances: hope for a cure, hope for treatment, or hope for comfort.

The Center for Thoracic Cancers

Submitted by Emily Montemerlo on November 09, 2021

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