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Concerned About Lung Cancer? Get the Facts

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013

Watch Dr. James McClurken, cardiothoracic surgeon at Doylestown Hospital, discuss lung cancer treatment at Doylestown Hospital.

Lung Cancer Treatment

Who is at risk for lung cancer?

Having one or more risk factors for lung cancer does not mean you will get cancer. The known risk factors for lung cancer are:

  • Tobacco smoking or second-hand smoke
  • Contact with radon
  • Contact with asbestos or other cancer-causing agents
  • Having had certain other cancers or lung diseases
  • Family history of lung cancer

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer typically occur only when the disease is advanced, which is why lung cancer screening is important. They include:

  • A new cough that doesn't go away
  • Changes in a chronic cough or "smoker's cough"
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Bone pain
  • Headache

Is there a screening test available?

Studies have shown that low-dose CT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk. High-risk individuals include anyone between the ages of 55 and 74 who have a 30 pack-year history — and if not still smoking must have quit within the past 15 years. Individuals who meet the high-risk criteria should talk to their provider to see if a low-dose CT scan to detect cancer is appropriate.

Who treats lung cancer?

Lung cancer care requires a team approach to treatment. Patients may come in contact with physicians from many specialties including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery and pulmonary medicine, among others.

How is lung cancer treated?

"There have been significant advances in treatment options for lung cancer in recent years," says Dr. James McClurken, cardiothoracic surgeon at Doylestown Hospital. "We utilize genetic testing and analysis of tumor markers to develop personalized treatment plans for patients when appropriate. Multi-modality therapy with a team approach allows for more effective treatment options and better outcomes."

Can lung cancer be prevented?

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking, or never start. For help with quitting smoking, please call 215-345-2121 for information about our smoking cessation program. If you have already quit smoking, congratulations and keep it up!

About Doylestown Health's Cancer Institute

Doylestown Health's Cancer Institute offers patients the quality care they expect from a leader in cancer diagnosis and treatment — close to home. Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and a member of Jefferson's Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network, our board-certified physicians and oncology-certified practitioners provide comprehensive, coordinated care and services for the full range of cancer diagnoses including breast, lung and gastrointestinal cancers.

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