Lung and Esophageal Cancer

Lung cancer and esophageal cancer are very aggressive diseases. Early detection is essential. Acting quickly and decisively can make the difference between a cure and a life-limiting situation. The need to have in place a system to encompass the prompt diagnosis and care of a cancer that often involves complex treatment plans and coordination of services triggered the creation of the multidisciplinary UF Health Thoracic Oncology in Jacksonville.

By bringing a multispecialty approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, this program, backed by UF faculty physicians, can decrease evaluation time for patients from weeks and months to just a few days.

The program specializes in the treatment of:

  • Lung cancer
  • Abnormal thoracic growths
  • Esophageal (esophagus) cancer
  • Mesothelioma (cancer of the lung lining)
  • Metastatic tumors of the chest (a cancer that has spread to the chest from another site)

Patients receive coordinated, compassionate cancer care from specialists in thoracic surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, pulmonology, pathology and radiology. A patient care coordinator serves as the patient navigator, gathering information together for the Thoracic Oncology team and reminding the patient of what is needed from him or her during the critical evaluation process. Support is also provided to patients by a group of skilled pharmacists, nurses, social workers and nutritionists.

The team works to create an integrated treatment plan for each patient that is timely, optimal and comprehensive. In addition to traditional treatments, multidisciplinary approaches include minimally invasive thoracic surgery and state-of-the-art conformal radiotherapy. And as an academic medical center, patients have access to new cancer treatments and research through the program's extensive affiliation with national and local clinical trials.

Lung Cancer Screening

The Thoracic Oncology Program offers lung cancer screenings using a safe, low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan.

Am I a candidate for lung cancer screening?

Advanced Treatment Options

Two components that make the Thoracic Oncology Program premiere in the Southeast are the inclusion of proton therapy and minimally invasive thoracic surgery as treatment options.

The University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville offers a powerful way to treat cancer. Proton therapy has the advantage of concentrating energy in one specific area, targeting cancer while minimizing damage to normal surrounding structures. The Thoracic Oncology Program is one of only a few institutions treating lung cancer by this modality.

In addition, most surgery of the chest (thoracic surgery) may now be performed as minimally invasive procedures, employing surgical instruments inserted through tiny incisions. This is known as Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery, or VATS.


For more information on the Thoracic Oncology Program at UF Health Jacksonville, call 904-244-TOPS (8677).

Related Services

The UF Health Cancer Center – Jacksonville offers the following services related to lung and esophageal cancer: