Alert: We're here for you. Learn how COVID-19 may affect your mesothelioma treatment and doctor appointments.

Dr. Betty Tong

Dr. Betty Tong

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Betty Tong is a thoracic surgeon based at the Duke Raleigh Hospital. She is an active member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Women in Thoracic Surgery.

Get in touch
Jump to a Topic:

About Betty Tong

  • Pleural and Lung Cancer icon

    Pleural and Lung Cancer

  • Research Excellence icon

    Excellence in Research

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery icon

    Minimally Invasive Surgery

  • VAT Surgery icon

    Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery

Ten years after graduating from Duke University School of Medicine, Tong decided to pursue another degree to learn more about the inner workings of clinical research. In 2009 she earned her Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In an industry where clinical trials shape the direction of future practices, being involved with clinical research allows doctors to stay on top of the newest drugs and procedures. Doctors like Tong who are extremely active in the research community are often the first to know about the cutting-edge therapies and advanced standards of treatment. As a surgeon, Tong’s research focuses on exploring beneficial new techniques that she can use during mesothelioma and lung cancer operations.

“The incorporation of research into a career in thoracic surgery is a complex process,” explains Tong and her co-authors in an article in the 2011 issue of Thoracic Surgery Clinics.

Tong relies on her previous research, such as an exploration of the morbidity rates associated with lobectomies, to improve her clinical recommendations for her patients. One of her primary research interests is the way that men and women respond to a specific treatment. Her knowledge of gender-based outcomes allows her to further tailor her recommendations to her patients when formulating their treatment plans. For her research in lung cancer as a women’s health issue, Tong was awarded scholarships from the Duke/NCCU Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program.

Minimally Invasive Approach

Primarily treating malignancies of the chest – such as pleural mesothelioma – she has adjusted her surgical approach to reflect the findings of recent research. She prefers to utilize minimally invasive procedures whenever possible, especially video-assisted procedures for the thorax. Tong also specializes in pulmonary metastesectomy, or surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the lungs. In these cases, she may opt for a lung volume reduction surgery or a full resection. She weighs the potential risk factors for each operation as well as the patient’s health to determine which type of surgery would give them the most benefits.

Doctor talking to patients

Talk to a Doctor About Your Diagnosis

We can help you or a loved one get in contact with Dr. Tong and find the treatment that's best for you.

Get Started Today

Tong’s post-graduate training has included practice-based residencies at Duke University, where she specialized in cardiothoracic surgery, and general surgery training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Quick Fact:

Dr. Tong also holds degrees in mechanical engineering and clinical investigation.

Tong’s Publications

Tong has written 19 articles related to thoracic surgery and common surgical procedures. Her works have appeared in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, among other publications. Her most recent work discussed the role of research in practicing surgery.

See More Top Mesothelioma Doctors

Disclaimer: Dr. Betty Tong has no professional affiliation with

stethoscope icon
Get Help Contacting this Doctor

We value your privacy. By submitting, you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer. Mesothelioma Packet

Get a Free Treatment Guide Sent Overnight

Get Yours Now

Find Ways to Pay for Treatment Costs

Get Started

Find an Active Mesothelioma Clinical Trial

Find Now

Senior Content Writer

Tim Povtak is an award-winning writer with more than 30 years of reporting national and international news. His specialty is interviewing top mesothelioma specialists and researchers, reporting the latest news at mesothelioma cancer centers and talking with survivors and caregivers.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at
Edited by

4 Cited Article Sources

The sources on all content featured in The Mesothelioma Center at include medical and scientific studies, peer-reviewed studies and other research documents from reputable organizations.

  1. D'Amico, T., & Tong, B. (2011). Incorporating research into thoracic surgery practice. Thoracic Surgery Clinics, 3, 369-377. Retrieved from:
  2. Duke Health – Tong, Betty C. (2011). Retrieved from:
  3. Duke Raleigh Hospital – Tong, Betty C. (2011). Retrieved from:
  4. Duke University School of Medicine – Faculty Development. (2010). Retrieved from:

Did this article help you?

Did this article help you?

Thank you for your feedback. Would you like to speak with a Patient Advocate?

Share this article

Last Modified July 31, 2020

Get Your Free Mesothelioma Guide Chat live with a patient advocate now