What is Thoracic Cancer?

Thoracic cancers are major health issues throughout the world.  There are more reported lung cancer deaths than any other tumour worldwide, and esophagus/upper stomach cancers are the fastest rising malignancies in North America.  Overall, these cancers portend a poor prognosis with 5-year survival rates between 15-20%.  However, if diagnosed early, thoracic cancers (Lung and Esophagus) are highly curable with surgery.  Traditional surgery for tumours within the chest can be complex and traumatic, frequently requiring a large incision in between the ribs.  Indeed these operations are associated with a not-insignificant complication rate and a long time for recovery.

Recently there has been a move towards minimally invasive (key-hole) surgery for lung and esophagus cancer, and the MGH was the first hospitals in Quebec to perform a laparoscopic esophagectomy (in 2002) and minimally invasive major lung resections (in 2005).

The MUHC Thoracic Surgery program is home to the largest esophageal cancer program in Canada, and will continue to grow and increase volumes as a centre of excellence at the MGH. With your support , Thoracic Surgery at the MGH will be able to maintain full ranges of services including resection of lung, esophageal, and stomach cancers, surgical management of benign lung, esophageal, and stomach tumours, as well as trauma support. The program also works alongside teams that are specialized in liver and pancreas cancer.

Dr. Lorenzo Ferri Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Director of the Upper GI Cancer Program