Lung Cancer Diagnosed and Treated by Mercy Doctors in Baltimore
The specialists at The Lung Center at Mercy manage a full range of lung disorders with expertise in treating lung cancer. Our lung doctors work in close collaboration with medical oncologists and surgical oncologists in treating lung cancer.
Lung cancer is a form of lung disease that is also known as bronchogenic carcinomas (cancer). It is a cancer that begins in the lungs and is the most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors:
- Family history
- Exposure to cancer causing chemicals
- Air pollutants
- Exposure to radon gas and radiation therapy
There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. These two types of lung cancer are different in how they grow and spread, making the treatment process different.
- Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common lung cancer and accounts for the majority of lung cancers. Among the most common types of non-small cell lung cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
- Small cell lung cancer is less common and is a much faster growing cancer. It often forms large tumors and often spreads quickly to other parts of the body. Small cell lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
Lung cancer may not produce any symptoms, but some patients may experience the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Weight lost
- Loss of appetite
- Repeated respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
Late stage lung cancer symptoms may include:
- Eyelid drooping
- Paralysis of the face
- Joint pain
- Nail problems
- Shoulder pain
- Bone pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the arms and face
Lung Cancer Diagnosis
Mercy offers a Lung Cancer Screening Program designed to detect early-stage lung cancer and improve chances of successful treatment. The program consists of annual screenings for those who are determined to be high risk, as well as counseling and shared decision making visits with Mercy’s experienced doctors.
Your doctor will help to determine if lung cancer screening is right for you. You may be a candidate if you meet the following criteria:
- Aged 55-77
- Current smoker or one who has quit within the last 15 years
- Smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years (or 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.)
In addition to lung cancer screening for early-stage detection, your doctor may utilize additional tests to diagnose lung cancer, including:
- CT scan
- Pulmonary function test
- Gas diffusion test
- Body plethysmography
- Inhalation challenge test
- Exercise stress test
- Multiple-breath wash out test
Treatment options for lung cancer vary by the type of lung cancer. Treatment options for non-small lung cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Laser therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
Treatment options for small cell cancer lung cancer may include:
- Radiation therapy