Smyrna Pulmonary and Sleep Associates

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Lung Cancer

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer happens when normal cells in the lungs change into abnormal cells and grow out of control. In the United States, lung cancer is the biggest cause of deaths from cancer in men and women.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Common symptoms of lung cancer can include:

Cough, Shortness of breath, coughing up blood, voice changes, weight loss, weakness

Is there a test for lung cancer?

Yes. If your doctor suspects that you have lung cancer, she or she will do an exam and a chest X-ray. If the chest X-ray shows a spot that looks like it could be cancer, he or she will probably follow up with other tests. These can include:

  • CT scan – This test creates images of the inside of your body and can show abnormal growths.
  • Biopsy – A doctor will remove a small sample of tissue from the lung. He or she will look at the sample under a microscope to see if it has cancer.

What is lung cancer staging?

Cancer staging is a way in which doctors find out how far a cancer has spread. Cancer staging depends upon type of lung cancer. Your doctor, with help of imaging studies like CT scan and PET scan can determine staging of cancer.

How is lung cancer treated?

Treatment options for lung cancer includes surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy. After initial diagnosis of lung cancer by pulmonologist or your primary care doctor, you should be referred to oncologist, lung surgeon, radiation oncologist depending upon treatment needed.

What happens after treatment?

After treatment, you will be checked every so often to see if the lung cancer comes back. Follow up tests usually include exams, chest X-rays, or CT scans.

What happens if the lung cancer comes back?

If the lung cancer comes back, you might have more chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

Can lung cancer be prevented?

Maybe. The best way to avoid getting lung cancer is to not smoke. People who smoke have a much higher chance than those who don’t smoke of getting lung cancer. If you smoke, you can reduce your chance of getting lung cancer by quitting smoking

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