According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, more than 228,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013. The most common types of lung cancer include small cell and non-small cell (more common), which are named for how the cancer cells appear under a microscope.
Some of the most widely researched risk factors for lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Smoking and secondhand smoke
- Exposures at home and work that may cause lung cancer (including radon and asbestos)
- Family history
- Radiation therapy to the chest (most prominent in those treated for Hodgkin disease and women with breast cancer treated with radiation after a mastectomy)
However, these risk factors are still being researched as some people who are diagnosed with lung cancer have not experienced any of these risk factors.
In order for doctors to plan treatment, staging tests are ordered to determine the extent of the cancer or whether the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. These tests may include CT scan, PET scan, MRI and bone scan. The stage of the cancer depends mainly on the size of the tumor, how deep the tumor is imbedded into nearby tissue, and whether lung cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
At the Capital Health Center for Oncology, our multidisciplinary team offers a variety of treatment options to develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that is convenient for patients and referring physicians. Treatment options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy (using either the TrueBeamTM Linear Accelerator or CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System), and surgery.
Our center also participates in various clinical trials that offer patients the very latest in cancer care while giving physicians and researchers the opportunity to study the effectiveness of the treatment.