Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the lung grow without stopping.
As more abnormal cells develop, they may form into a tumor and can spread
to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. Smoking is a major cause
of lung cancer. Other risk factors include secondhand smoke, exposure
to radon, asbestos and other carcinogens, and family history. Symptoms
of lung cancer such as cough, chest pain, hoarseness or shortness of breath
may not appear until the cancer is advanced.
An estimated 80-85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer.
Valley Health wants to find lung cancer at its early and more treatable
stage and work towards eliminating late-stage lung cancer. Adults with
a history of smoking are at high risk of lung cancer and can greatly benefit from the
low dose CT lung screening program available at any of our Valley Health hospitals. Abnormal lung lesions
that appear in a low dose CT scan may require further evaluation and follow-up
such as a biopsy.
Specialists at Winchester Medical Center offer advanced, minimally invasive
means to diagnose lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases. Electromagnetic
navigational bronchoscopy (ENB) is used to biopsy lung tissue lesions
which have been beyond the reach of standard bronchoscopy. Used together
with endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), lung cancer can be diagnosed and
staged in a single procedure and the most appropriate treatment identified
sooner. ENB also offers the opportunity to accurately mark lung lesions
for more targeted radiation therapy as well as surgery.
Lung cancer can be treated through a range of medical options as well as
surgery. Surgery is the best option when the cancer has not spread far
in your body. It is usually best for non-small-cell lung cancer, as it
can remove the entire tumor in one operation.
Different treatment options, such as chemotherapy, radiation and radiofrequency
ablation, can be used before, after, or instead of surgery. Every patient’s
ideal treatment plan is different.
Patients receiving lung cancer care at Valley Health’s Cancer Center
have access to a patient navigator who provides personalized support,
information and resources.
Minimally invasive thoracic surgery has had a profound impact on the surgical treatment of lung cancer. At
Winchester Medical Center, we offer advanced surgical treatments including
minimally invasive techniques of video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
and robot-assisted techniques.
Radiation may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor and make it easier
to remove. It can also be used after surgery to kill any of the cancer
cells left behind. Sometimes it is used in combination with chemotherapy
or to relieve pain or other symptoms of lung cancer.
Chemotherapy drugs are administered through an IV and, similar to radiation
therapy, can be given before or after surgery. It is also often used as
a main treatment for those for whom surgery is not an option.