St. Clair Health provides expert thoracic surgeons close to home to support patients through some of their most difficult times. Thoracic surgery focuses on the chest organs, including the heart, lungs, esophagus, and trachea. With technological advances, it has increased the safety and availability of these complex surgical procedures. St. Clair’s Thoracic Surgery team works closely with medical oncologists and radiation oncologists affiliated with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, radiologists, pathologists, and nurse navigators. Frequent collaborative discussions occur with this team of experts to help guide patient care and treatment through every step.
Diagnostic tools are tests or procedures that are used to determine if an area is benign or malignant. It may take several of these tests to get a precise diagnosis and this process is critical in creating a personalized care plan for the patient. It is our goal to guide each patient through the process and determine best next steps.
CT scans, which use X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the chest.
MRI scans, which use radio waves and strong magnets to create detailed images of soft tissue. Like CT scans, they can produce detailed images of the tissue in the chest cavity. They are most often used to see if lung cancer has spread beyond its initial site.
PET scans, which use fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) injected into the body to illuminate cancer cells. It’s also useful in determining if cancer has spread beyond the initial site.
PET/CT scans, which combine the technology of both to give the doctor an even more detailed image.
Medical Oncology uses chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy to focus on specific mutations and to eliminate cancer cells. Chemotherapy is typically part of the treatment for lung cancer. This is because the cancerous cells have usually already spread by the time it is found, so other treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy would not reach all areas of cancer.
Radiation therapy uses powerful energy sources, such as X-rays and protons, to eliminate cancer cells. It might be used to shrink a large cancer before an operation so that it can be removed more easily. When surgery isn’t an option, radiation therapy might be used to relieve symptoms, such as pain. Sometimes radiation is combined with chemotherapy.
Although cancer doesn’t have to define you, the disease changes your life in a number of ways. You’ll have to deal with the immediate and long-term physical effects of treatment, ongoing screening and monitoring, new concerns about staying healthy and a wide range of emotions.
This post-treatment period is called survivorship. While survivorship varies from patient to patient, there are some common concerns that often affect cancer survivors. We encourage you to follow up with your specialist and team for local recommendations regarding survivorship resources and support programs.
Richard H. Maley, Jr., M.D. earned his medical degree at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. He also completed a fellowship in Trauma/Critical Care at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Maley completed his residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in thoracic surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Maley practices with St. Clair Medical Group.
To contact Dr. Maley, please call 412.942.5710.
Professional Office Building
1050 Bower Hill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
Peters Township Outpatient Center
3928 Washington Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Yearly lung cancer screenings are highly recommended for people who—
Talk with your Primary Care Physician to learn more about when it’s the right time to schedule a screening.
Learn more about the value of a second opinion and St. Clair’s collaboration with Mayo Clinic Care Network.
The Respiratory Care Department offers a variety of programs and resources to help people quit smoking or quit using chewing tobacco. Trained smoking cessation facilitators and other health care personnel are available to answer your questions.
For more information on St. Clair Hospital’s quit smoking programs, please call 412.942.2008.