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Freiburg Lung Cancer Center celebrates tenth anniversary

© Juan Gärtner / Fotolia

Lung cancer is still one of the most common forms of cancer among men, but at the same time is also very difficult to treat. That's why the interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Center at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg was established ten years ago and certified by the German Cancer Society. "With our well-coordinated and experienced team of specialists, we can offer patients individually tailored care at the highest scientific level," says Prof. Dr. Bernward Passlick, Medical Director of the Department of Thoracic Surgery in Freiburg, and founder of the Lung Cancer Center.

Lung cancer screening urged

"It is imperative that we institute lung cancer screening for high-risk patients," Passlick urges. "The benefits of such preventive examinations for active and former heavy smokers are well documented," he says. In a large US study whose participants had images of their lungs made regularly, 20 percent fewer died. In the course of screening, cancer precursors or small tumors can be detected and often completely removed surgically, before the first symptoms appear. "In the early disease stage, the chance of recovery is 50 to 90 percent," says Passlick.

In treating lung cancer, a combination of medicinal therapy, radiation and surgery is often necessary. In the Lung Cancer Center at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, interdisciplinary treatment recommendations for more than 350 newly diagnosed patients are coordinated each year in a twice-weekly tumor board. Due to the complexity of lung cancer treatment, policymakers are currently discussing the introduction of "minimum volumes", especially for surgical treatment, the goal of which is to have difficult interventions carried out by those hospitals whose doctors have enough experience to assure quality care. Says Passlick, "Minimum volumes make perfect sense, and for patients are an important sign of quality."