Lung cancer program at NHRMC offers streamlined care for newly diagnosed patients

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Lung cancer remains the deadliest cancer. Over 400 people die from the disease every day in the united states.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has a relatively new program that expedites the plan of care process for newly diagnosed patients. Instead of visiting a series of doctors prior to coming up with a treatment plan, they are referred to the lung program at the Zimmer Cancer Center.

"I make sure that that patient gets a PET scan, and MRI, and pulmonary function test and then we get them into the program," says Lorraine Sieminiski, the nurse coordinator for the lung program at the Zimmer Cancer Center.

Before, patients would have to schedule various appointments with pulmonologists and radiologists on their own.

"Now they have my direct line and a contact and I can do all that for them," Sieminiski said.

The program consists of a panel of different doctors, nurses and counselors.

A team of doctors will see patients individually.

"Radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologist, thoracic surgeon and then we also have a nutritionist and social worker and financial counselors," Sieminksi explained.

Sieminski says this significantly cuts back on the time a lung cancer patient has to spend seeing all of the different doctors which speeds up their track to treatment.

"Before they would have to travel and go to see each individual doctor so it could take weeks, like 60 days before and it cuts down to now this one time," Sieminksi said.

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