Lung Cancer

Lung cancer treatment is based on the type and stage of tumor, and the patient’s general medical condition.

Symptoms

Although lung cancer is best treated as early as possible, it may not cause symptoms in the early stages. Common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A persistent cough that does not go away or worsens
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit or phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

When lung cancer spreads to other organs, it may cause:

  • Bone pain, such as pain in the back or hips
  • Neurologic changes, such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Lumps near the surface of the body due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes in the neck or above the collarbone

Diagnosis

In addition to all major cancer screening and diagnosis methods, we also offer these techniques when testing for lung cancer:

  • Chest X-ray – This is often the first test performed to look for any masses or spots on the lungs.
  • CT-Guided Needle Biopsy – If the area suspected of cancer lies deep within the body, a CT scan can be used to guide a biopsy needle precisely to the spot.
  • Position Emission Tomography (PET Scan) – PET scans use radioactive sugar, which is absorbed by cancer cells, to develop a picture of the location and activity of cancer cells.
  • Sputum Cytology – A sample of mucus coughed up from the lungs is examined for cancer cells.
  • Bronchoscopy – This procedure looks for abnormalities inside the upper part of the esophagus and large airways in the lung.

Treatment

Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are treatment options for lung cancer. Your care team will work with you to determine your exact course of treatment. Learn more about treatment options.