Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the lung grow and get out of control. They disrupt the activity of healthy tissue surrounding them, so your lungs cannot function as well as they normally would.
Lung cancer can go undiagnosed because people don’t normally notice anything is wrong early on. Even when they do have symptoms, the ones they do have—such as a chronic cough—may be attributed to other health issues. Many people with lung cancer do not have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Symptoms may present themselves differently in each person.
If you believe you are at risk for lung cancer, speak to your physician about scheduling a lung cancer screening.
Less common symptoms may include:
Doctors can use several tests to diagnose lung cancer. It is important that you share all symptoms, your medical history, and any known risks with your physician to ensure appropriate testing and diagnosis.
The following are examples of tests your doctor may use to diagnose your lung cancer:
Lung nodules are abnormal spots commonly discovered incidentally on imaging studies or during low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans. While most nodules are benign, some may be cancerous. If a nodule is found, a multidisciplinary team of expert specialists in our Lung Center of Excellence will evaluate your nodule.
At Capital Health, we treat all types of lung cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Their names are based on their appearance under the microscope. Each grows differently and requires different treatment methods.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
This is the most common type of cancer representing about 80% to 85% of lung cancers. The main subtypes are adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.
Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
Between 10% to 15% percent of all lung cancer cases are SCLC. This fast-growing cancer is commonly diagnosed in an advanced stage.
The following are treatment options for lung cancer:
Some patients may benefit by participating in a clinical trial. In fact, most of today’s treatments for cancer are based on clinical trials.
The U.S. Preventative Task Force (USTPF) recommends an annual screening for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) for: