Lung Cancer Program
Lung cancer accounts for about 14 percent of cancer diagnosis. The American Cancer Society estimated 226,160 new cases of lung cancer for 2012.
Cigarette smoking is the biggest risk for developing lung cancer. The more a person smokes, the more risk the individual has for developing lung cancer. Second-hand smoking, cigars, and pipe smoking are all included as part of this risk factor.
Other risks include occupational and environmental exposures such as radon, asbestos, some organic chemicals, certain metals, radiation, air pollution and genetics.
Lung Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that accumulates into a tumor that can invade and destroy normal lung tissues and the protective lining of the lung, called the pleura. Large tumors can constrict the surrounding airway structures such as the trachea, often referred to as the windpipe and the two tubes that take air from the trachea to the right and left lung.
Uncontrolled lung cancer erodes the respiratory system interfering with the proper exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide), which is necessary for life. Uncontrolled, and late stages of lung cancer is susceptible to spreading throughout to other parts of the body, this is called metatastasis. Metastatic cancers can spread through the blood and lymphatic system. Cancers that have metastized depending on the location and degree of spread, along with other factors, may require treatment. Lung cancer has a tendency to spread to the brain.
There are two types of lung cancer, small cell and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Small cell, (also referred to as oat cell) is the least common, but the most aggressive cancer with the least chance of cure. Small cell is largely associated to smoking. Early diagnosis of either type of lung cancer may offer the best opportunity for getting rid of the cancer and preventing the re-growth. However, early detection of lung cancer is difficult. There are signs and symptoms that should prompt an immediate evaluation with your primary care physician. For suspicious cases, your primary care physician will refer you to the appropriate specialist and for the proper diagnostic testing. You will be assigned to a team of trained specialists to care for lung cancer patients from diagnoses, to treatment and for after treatment care. Parkland has a multidisciplinary approach to care, providing you with best options for care.
Concerning signs and symptoms for evaluation by your physician:
Lung cancer diagnostics, treatment and therapies:
Special programs for lung cancer:
For more information visit American Cancer Society and American Society of Clinical Oncology Patient Website.