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Topic of the Month: Lung Cancer

Topic of the Month: Lung Cancer

Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Virtual Vigil

On Thursday, November 14, people impacted by lung cancer around the world will join together for the 5th Annual Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Vigil. Northwestern Medicine and the Lurie Cancer Center, in partnership with the Lung Cancer Alliance, are holding a “Virtual Vigil”; creating a photo album to connect newly-diagnosed lung cancer patients, long-term survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Learn about the Shine a Light on Lung Cancer “Virtual Vigil”

Lung Cancer is Not Just One Disease

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 226,160 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2012, making lung cancer the second most common type of cancer in both men and women in the United States. There are three main types of lung cancer. Knowing which type you have is important because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of lung cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.

Learn about the three main types of lung cancer

How is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

An accurate diagnosis and stage are essential for determining the best treatment options. Several tests are available to help your doctors learn more about your lung cancer. These tests provide details that help your doctors make a specific diagnosis about the type of lung cancer you have and information that helps with assigning a stage to the lung cancer.

Learn about the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer

National Lung Cancer Screening Trial

Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States, and the leading cause of death from cancer. Often, lung cancers grow silently for many years and reach an advanced stage before causing symptoms that lead to diagnosis and treatment. Until recently, no screening test for lung cancer has proven effective in detecting tumors at an early, more treatable stage.

Learn about CT screening for patients at high risk for lung cancer

What are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

Many people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. There are very few nerve endings in the lungs. A tumor could be in the lungs without causing pain or discomfort. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person but may include:

How is Lung Cancer Treated?

There was a time when lung cancer treatment was based only on the type (small cell or non-small cell) and stage of lung cancer. As more is learned about lung cancer, treatment options depend on not just the type, but also the subtype, and in some cases, if mutations are present, the cancer cells themselves.

Learn about treatment options for lung cancer

You Don’t Have to Smoke to Get Lung Cancer

Even though it’s less common, people who don’t smoke get lung cancer too. Every year, 16,000 to 24,000 Americans die of lung cancer even though they have never smoked. If lung cancer in “never smokers” (defined by researchers as people who have smoked fewer than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime) had its own category separate from lung cancer in smokers, it would rank among the top 10 fatal cancers in the United States.

Learn about lung cancer in never smokers

Questions to Ask My Doctor About Lung Cancer

It’s important to talk openly with your cancer care team, but it’s easier if you know the questions to ask. Here are some questions you can use as a starting point to help you better understand lung cancer and your treatment options.

Learn more about questions to ask your health care team

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a type of clinical research study that tests a new medical approach in people to make sure it is safe and effective. A clinical trial is sometimes called a research protocol or a clinical study.

Search lung cancer clinical trials at the Lurie Cancer Center

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