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.
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.
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.
To detect lung cancer, we offer a low-dose CT lung cancer screening. The National Lung Screening Trial found that lung cancer deaths were decreased by 20 percent among current or former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose computed tomography (CT) versus those screened by chest X-ray.
Our multidisciplinary team includes pulmonologists and surgeons, as well as medical and radiation oncologists. This team will work together with you to determine the best treatment approach for you based on the type and stage of the disease, its location, your age, and your physical health. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies or a combination of these treatments.
Learn more about our programs and the social workers, nutritionists and others who are available during and after your treatment to support you and your family.
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.
If you currently smoke, the single most important thing you can do is quit. Your risk for lung cancer decreases significantly when you stop smoking. Talk to your doctor to get help with quitting. You can also get help from state quit lines, download apps to your smart phone, and participate in online programs. The following resources can help you get started.