Lung Cancer: Symptoms & Treatment

Preventative lung cancer screenings for high-risk patients is a key component of early detection and intervention. SSM Health takes a proactive approach to your health and depending on your risk factors may request one of these preventative screenings.

Cells in the lungs can become abnormal over time, and may not die off as part of the body’s natural process of renewal. As these abnormal cells reproduce they gradually form a tumor in the lung. Due to the size of the lungs, these tumors often go undetected for years.

SSM Health understands the fears following a lung cancer diagnosis. Our cancer specialists are ready to walk you through diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

We treat the two most common types of lung cancer:

  • Small-cell lung cancers
  • Non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC)

Accounting for 90% of lung cancer diagnoses, smoking is the top risk factor. However, other risk factors include:

  • Exposure to asbestos and other hazardous materials and chemicals
  • Exposure to radon gas
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Family history of lung cancer

Signs & Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Like most cancers, symptoms of lung cancer don’t tend to present themselves until later stages. Depending on your risk, your doctor may encourage you to undergo regular, preventative screenings. Symptoms of advanced stage lung cancer can include:

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Persistent cough
  • Trouble breathing and shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in the chest and surrounding areas
  • Coughing up mucus or phlegm
  • Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, call your doctor and schedule a lung cancer screening. From there your doctor will decide which diagnostic test you may qualify for.

If you’re concerned about your risk you may also want to complete our lung cancer health risk assessment.

Treating Lung Cancer

Depending on your diagnosis, the location and size of the tumor, your symptom severity and overall health, your physician may recommend a single treatment or a combination of treatments. These options may include:

You don’t have to be alone in your lung cancer diagnosis. SSM Health’s cancer specialist are here with you every step of the way. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or seeking a second opinion: you have a question, we have answers. Contact us today and see how our exceptional care reveals the healing power of presence.

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