What is Lung Cancer?
The lungs are two spongy organs that handle the respiratory functions for the body. Lung Cancer is cancer that appears and develops in the trachea, air sacs another lung tubes. It may also begin on the surface of the lung. Lung cancer is classified under two different types, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Of these types NSCLC is more common.
According to the American Cancer Society estimates for 2011:
- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men (after prostate cancer) and women (after breast cancer), accounting for about 15 percent of all new cancers.
- About 221,130 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed (115,060 among men and 106,070 among women).
- About 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are older than 65.
- The chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1in 13; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 16.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
- Smoking and tobacco use is the greatest risk factor. Almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases can be attributed to smoking. This includes exposure to second hand smoke.
- Chemical Exposure. If you are exposed to chemicals such as Radon or Asbestos at home or in your work place over an extended period of time, you may be at a higher risk for lung cancer.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS?
Some of the most common indicators include persistent cough, chest pain, hoarseness, dramatic weight loss and loss of appetite, coughing up blood or, shortness of breath, constant feelings of weakness, recurring lung disease, wheezing.
HOW IS LUNG CANCER DETECTED?
Despite recent developments, Lung Cancer is still difficult to detect. If you are a heavy smoker or you have been a smoker you should talk to your physician regarding lung cancer screening options. Diagnosing usually begins with an x-ray and from there a biopsy of the lung tissue may need to be performed.
HOW IS LUNG CANCER TREATED?
Lung cancer is often treated through thoracic surgery and can be coupled with chemotherapy, radiation or both. The Thoracic Surgeons at Saint Agnes are committed to removing the tumor while maintaining as much of the lung tissue and function as possible. Our Thoracic Surgeons work very closely with our Pulmonary department to develop the most effective treatment plan.
Get a Free Cancer Guide
Complete the form below for a free, downloadable guide that will help you decide what lung cancer treatment path is right for you.
For more information please visit the following:
- National Cancer Institute Findings on the use of CT images for early Lung Cancer Detection
- The American lung Association
- The American Cancer Society
- The National Cancer Institute
For more information on treatment options or any information regarding lung cancer services at Saint Agnes Hospital please contact us at 410-368-2910.
To find a physician please call 1-866-690-9355.