Lung Cancer

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in both men and women, causing more than 140,000 deaths per year. This is more than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. In 2019 alone, an estimated 228,150 people will have been diagnosed with lung cancer. 

There are three types of lung cancer
  1. Non-small cell: the most common type that includes adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
  2. Small cell: accounts for 10-15% of lung cancers.
  3. Lung carcinoid tumors: rare neuroendocrine tumors.
Symptoms of lung cancer
  1. Cough
  2. Coughing up blood
  3. Unexplained weight loss
  4. Chest pain
  5. Shortness of breath
  6. Hoarse voice
  7. Respiratory infections that don’t go away or recur
Treatment options
  1. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is drug treatment that works throughout the entire body to kill cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with other treatment options.
  2. Radiation: Radiation therapy is a localized therapy that uses high doses of radiation (intense energy) to target and destroy cancer cells. We offer traditional radiation as well as CyberKnife® Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery System.
  3. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy treats cancer by boosting the immune system’s ability to fight. 
  4. Surgery: minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted thoracic surgery, which is used to access the chest cavity and operate on the lung. Patients often quicker than with open-wound surgery and are able to get back to their routine.  
How can you decrease your risk of developing lung cancer?
  1. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for developing lung cancer. If the risk of cancer isn’t enough to make stop, consider that smoking is also linked to other lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and recurrent respiratory infections.
  2. While smoking causes the most lung cancers, environmental exposures play a role as well. It is important to protect yourself in the workplace and be aware of possible exposure risks at home. Wear appropriate face masks when necessary and make sure you are not being exposed to radon in your home.
What we do
Our interdisciplinary team of experts works together to provide a faster diagnosis and treatment plan. Each month a conference is held to discuss cases and develop recommendations for the best possible care plan tailored to each individual patient. Other topics discussed include the impact of future lung cancer care such as advances in treatment, current research, and clinical trials.

For more information about cancer risks, please contact Saint’s Peter’s Lung Health Program patient navigator, Robin Bergeron, PA-C at 732.745.8600 ext. LUNG (5864).


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