Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States. After increasing for decades, lung cancer incidence and mortality among men and women are decreasing, paralleling decreases in cigarette smoking.
Lung cancers usually are grouped into two main types, small cell and non-small cell. These types of lung cancer grow differently and are treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer also can be caused by using other types of tobacco (such as pipes or cigars), breathing secondhand smoke, being exposed to substances such as asbestos or radon at home or work, and having a family history of lung cancer.
Although lung cancer may not cause symptoms in its early stages, as the disease advances symptoms may include:
- A persistent or worsening cough
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Constant chest pain
- Bloody cough
- A hoarse voice
- Frequent lung infections such as pneumonia
- Unexplained weight loss
Conditions other than lung cancer can also cause these symptoms, and patients with any symptoms should see a doctor to determine the cause.
CarePoint Health’s oncologists will determine the best treatment approach for each patient based on the type and stage of the disease, its location — such as its proximity to vital structures such as the heart or the aorta — and the patient’s age and physical health. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, or a combination.
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Mutation Testing in non-small Lung Cancer