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New outpatient service for people with multiple lung nodules

People with multiple lung nodules can expect to bypass the trouble of seeing different doctors and receiving excessive CT checks in Shanghai.

Shanghai Chest Hospital launched a special outpatient service with experts from different departments to offer individualized consultations, solutions and treatment plans for people with multiple lung nodules.

People with multiple nodules cover 18 percent of total lung nodule patients. They must travel between hospitals and departments to consult about treatment plans and usually have to receive repeated CT scans and checks, as the current health database doesn't allow all hospitals to share one information system to check the patient's previous medical records and imaging records.

"Multiple lung nodules is a complicated condition, requiring group discussions with medics from different departments, but there is no united clinical guidance. So our hospital introduced the new multidisciplinary service with the participation of experts from radiology, cardiothoracic surgery, respiratory disease and radiation to study each nodule and give patients the most appropriate treatment plan," said Dr Zhong Hua, who initiated the service.

"With the prevalence of CT scans in health checkups, the detection of lung nodules keeps rising. But most people don't need surgery just regular checkups. It is unnecessary to conduct for treatments on low-risk nodules, so we clearly check patient's nodules and come up with a treatment plan."

So far, the new department has treated around 200 patients with multiple lung nodules, and each patient receives an individualized, entire-process management.

"We can give patients proper suggestions in line with each condition. Treatments include surgery, radiofrequency ablation, radiology and chemotherapy, targeted medicine and immunotherapy. Some patients are very anxious about their low-risk nodules and demand surgery, in which case we tell them the most appropriate solution to eliminate their worry," said Dr Yao Feng from the hospital's cardiothoracic department.

"The majority of patients don't need surgery. We give patients a package of comprehensive treatments to maximize the benefits."

Experts in the multidisciplinary department have completed a diagnosis and treatment guidance on multiple lung nodules to share their experiences with colleagues around the nation to help regulate clinical practices.

Moreover, they are leading research on a new immunotherapy drug for multiple lung nodules to explore more new treatments for patients.

New outpatient service for people with multiple lung nodules
Ti Gong

Experts discuss a patient's CT scan.

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