Know someone with lung cancer? Here are options to treat the disease

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and leading killers in both men and women in the United States.

Did you know that lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and the leading cause of death in both men and women right here in the United States?

Beginning as a growth of abnormal cells, cancer grows to form a tumor, interfering with lung function. Lung cancer is treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

The Methodist Heart and Lung Institute Lung Center at Methodist Hospital is home to the latest most advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and management services for the treatment of lung disease and lung cancer in San Antonio, the group states.

According to Methodist Health, lung cancer claims more lives each year than colon, prostate, ovarian and breast cancers combined.

To get a better understanding of how to treat lung cancer, Dr. Ali Abedi, pulmonologist with Methodist Hospital discusses commonly asked questions.

1. What are the types of lung cancer?

According to Methodist Healthcare, there are two types of lung cancer small cell and non-small cell.

  • Small-cell lung cancer occurs mostly in heavy smokers and is less common than non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer is an umbrella term for several types of lung cancer that behave similarly. These cancers include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.

2. What are the signs/symptoms of lung cancer and who is most at risk?

Lung cancer tends to not show symptoms until it becomes more advanced, stated by medical professionals. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include shortness of breath, chest pain, bone pain, headaches, a new cough that doesn’t go away, coughing up blood and unintended weight loss.

3. What is required for lung cancer screening?

The American Cancer Society recommends annual lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan for certain people at higher risk for lung cancer who meet the following conditions:

  • Are 55 to 77 years old and in fairly good health
  • Currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
  • Receive smoking cessation counseling if they are current smokers
  • Have at least a 30-pack per year smoking history

If you meet the screening criteria listed above, you should ask your physician to order a low-dose CT screening at a STRIC location.

3. The Methodist Heart and Lung Institute Lung Center is home to the latest, most advanced diagnostic, therapeutic and management services. What are those advanced diagnostic therapies and how are they enhancing lung disease care?

Methodist Health’s multidisciplinary team of physicians uses advanced and minimally invasive approaches for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as navigational bronchoscopy with Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), as well as minimally invasive Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) procedures.

Patients with small-cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. For non-small cell lung cancer, surgery and targeted therapy may also be recommended. Doctors base patients’ treatment plans on the type and current stage of cancer.

This comprehensive lung nodule program enables doctors to detect incidental lung nodules earlier, diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage and ultimately, save lives.

To learn more about your risk for lung cancer, click or tap here to access Methodist Healthcare’s health assessment.