McLaren Greater Lansing’s Tumor Board Provides Tailored Cancer Treatment Plan

According to the American Cancer Society in the US alone more than 600,000 estimated cancer deaths will occur in 2017. Virtually everyone has been affected by the disease or knows someone who has.

To combat these numbers, McLaren Greater Lansing has been holding cancer conferences, or tumor boards, for the past 20 years; improving the care of patients by providing a multidisciplinary team approach to treating cancer. 

McLaren hosts two specialty cancer site-specific tumor boards in addition to a general tumor board every week. The site-specific tumor boards discuss over 90% of the breast patients and lung patients. The general tumor board includes discussions on patients with a diagnosis of colon cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and kidney cancers just to name a few. In addition to discussing lung cancer patients at thoracic tumor board, all patients with suspicious findings on their low dose CT screening scan are reviewed during the tumor board.

“Our tumor board is a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care that evaluates each patient’s case individually, based on cancer type and specific medical needs,” said Tom Mee, President and CEO of McLaren Greater Lansing. “McLaren Greater Lansing is dedicated to providing the most advanced medical expertise for every patient, every time.”

The cancer team consists of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists. The team discusses stage, prognostic indicators, national evidence-based guidelines, options for clinical trial participation, and benefits of genetic and specialized tumor marker testing. The discussion is aimed towards tailoring a treatment plan that is unique to each patient.  

“Cancer conferences are for the patient’s benefits,” said Cheryl Kovalski, DO, Medical Oncologist and Cancer Committee Chairperson at McLaren Greater Lansing. “Patients may have a relationship with just a few of our physicians, but when they are discussed at cancer conference, they are getting the expertise of multiple specialists.”

In addition to the specialists, cancer conference includes social workers, lymphedema specialists and nurse navigators. These individuals are here to assist the patient with other needs, such as transportation or how best to coordinate their treatment.

For more information on the McLaren Greater Lansing tumor board, please contact Michelle Hulbert at (517) 975-3051.