Thoracic Cancers

In 2004, we performed the first robotic lobectomy in Minnesota, and in 2010 we performed the first robotic basal segmentectomy in the Midwest.
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Lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and mesothelioma are three of the most common forms of thoracic cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of lung cancer is caused by smoking. Esophageal cancer can develop in any part of the esophagus, spreading to your lymph nodes, and nearby organs. Mesothelioma is uncommon, but it develops in the layer of cells known as the mesothelium that protects many organs within the chest and abdomen.

Our Approach

M Health Fairview Cancer Care physicians provide leading edge technology and compassionate care to treat the complex medical needs of patients with thoracic cancer.

Through the years, we have offered innovative, pioneering treatments, including the first lung resection in the 1930s. Today, we are one of the few medical centers to use minimally invasive robotics for these resections. The result is better outcomes and fewer complications, especially for older patients. In 2004, we performed the first robotic lobectomy in Minnesota, and in 2010 we performed the first robotic basal segmentectomy in the Midwest.

Many of our physicians are also active in research, leading clinical studies on lung cancer, esophageal cancer and thoracic cancer in collaboration with researchers with the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures


Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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A biopsy is a procedure to remove tissue in order to test it for cancer. The cells can be removed in several ways and then analyzed in a laboratory.
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Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells, and treat other non-cancerous conditions. Several types of radiation therapy is often used to limit radiation exposure as much as possible while still delivering the optimal outcomes for patients.
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TomoTherapy is a specialized form of radiation delivery that combines radiation therapy with 3D imaging to create more precise targeting of tumors. It works by delivering radiation beams from multiple directions allowing the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor.
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Genomic Profiling

During the course of your cancer diagnosis and treatment, your physician may order next-generation DNA sequencing. No two cancers are the same. Next-generation DNA sequencing is a test your physician may use to better understand the unique molecular composition of your cancer.
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Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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Social Work Services for Cancer Patients

M Health Fairview offers Social Work Services for Cancer Patients, and we're committed to providing you with personalized, breakthrough care.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Lung Resection
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Robotic Surgery
  • Thoracoscopic Lobectomy
  • Cryosurgery
  • Esophagectomy MIE
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lobectomy
  • Oral Medications
  • Photodynamic Therapy
  • Tracheostomy