Northwestern Medicine

Compassion Leaves Lasting Impression on Lung Cancer Patient

Northwestern Memorial Hospital October 13, 2011

Minimally Invasive Approach for Thoracic Surgery Gets You Back on Your Feet Quickly

CHICAGO, IL – As a nurse of 40 years, Nancy Beck knows what it means to put others first. But, that mentality would have to change after going in for a normal screening mammography and coming out worried about a suspicious area, which proved to be positive for breast cancer.

A few weeks later, Beck returned to have her surgery. She had a full pre-operative exam, and everything looked good, except for her chest x-ray. Beck was about to face the stress of having a double diagnosis of early stage breast and lung cancer.

“I had no risk factors, such as smoking, for either of these cancers,” said Beck. “But there it was staring me in the face, so I had to take cancer on and deal with it.”
Malcolm DeCamp, MD, is the chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was there from the very beginning to comfort Beck and tailor a treatment plan that was best for her individual needs.

“We’re proud to say about 70 percent of all our lung cancer surgeries are done using video assisted techniques,” said DeCamp. “When it comes to being able to discover lung cancer early in stage one, about 70-90 percent of those surgeries are done minimally invasive.”

The Thoracic Surgery Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital offers comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary care, expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques, nationally recognized clinical experts, demonstrated quality outcomes and commitment to collaboration with referring physicians.

“I’m so grateful to Dr. DeCamp and his team for their care and compassion,” said Beck. “I’m also grateful I was able to have had minimally invasive surgery. I was only in the hospital for two nights and the recovery process was a lot quicker.”

“This was the best experience no one wants to go through in life,” said Beck.

Learn more about the Northwestern Medicine Thoracic Surgery Program.

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