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About Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States today.

What is lung cancer?

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer, and small cell lung cancer.

Who develops lung cancer?

Most people develop lung cancer as a result of being exposed to cigarette smoke. Other risk factors include:

  • advanced age
  • exposure to asbestos and chemicals such as arsenic
  • radon gas exposure

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • chest pain
  • cough or coughing up blood
  • fatigue
  • neck or facial swelling
  • unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite

However, these symptoms are not unique to lung cancer, and it’s recommended that you see your physician for further evaluation if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

Lung cancercan be diagnosed in several methods but typically will require a biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. Your physician will initially take a full medical history, perform a physical exam and order non-invasive tests such as X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, and/or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Based on the results of these tests, a biopsy (a procedure in which a sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope) may be recommended. The Valley Hospital offers the latest diagnostic tools to its patients, including endobronchial ultrasound, navigational bronchoscopy and minimally invasive biopsy.

How is lung cancer treated?

Treatment for lung cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, including the type of lung cancer and most importantly the stage of disease. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach to treating lung cancer as treatment may include a combination of surgery, radiation (including tomotherapy), and/or chemotherapy and targeted therapy (medications that target cancer-causing gene changes in cells). Your physician can determine the best treatment for you.

Valley offers comprehensive lung cancer treatment through its Lung Cancer Center at the Blumenthal Cancer Center. For more information, call 201-634-5722. Valley is also proud to offer the latest treatment options, including minimally invasive surgery, including the use of Single Port VATS and Da Vinci VATS lobectomythrough its Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery.

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