Lung Cancer

MaineHealth brings together teams of specialists to accurately detect and stage lung and other thoracic (within the chest) cancers.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths. Often it’s preventable. Smoking causes up to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. Breathing secondhand smoke also increases your risk of lung cancer. Other risks include exposure to radon and asbestos.

The two primary types of lung cancer are called non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Chronic cough, wheezing may be lung cancer signs

  • Coughing (sometimes with blood)
  • Chest and ribs hurt
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling out of breath
  • Frequent chest colds and chest infections
  • Weight loss

Lung Cancer Diagnosis

Recommendations for lung cancer screenings

Ask your doctor about a lung cancer screening. Annual CAT scans, or LDCT screenings, are recommended for people at high risk of lung cancer. They include people who meet all three criteria:

  • Between 55 and 80 years old

  • Who currently smoke or quit smoking in the last 15 years, and

  • Have a history of smoking at least one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years.

Patients at high risk of lung cancer can get guidance and access to lung cancer screenings through the Maine Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program.

Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer treatment options can vary

Treatment depends on the cancer type and stage. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery

  • Radiation

  • Chemotherapy

  • Targeted therapies

  • Clinical trials

  • Complementary and integrative therapies

Looking for information on cancer?

Connect with a Health Educator today, and ask your questions.

We’re here for you. We can help. 

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