What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is cancer that usually starts in the lining of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs), or other areas of the lungs, including the bronchioles, or alveoli.

Nearly all lung cancers are carcinomas, a cancer that begins in the lining or covering tissues of an organ.

Lung cancers are generally divided into two types:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer: The three main kinds of non-small cell lung cancer are named for the type of cells in the tumor:
    • Squamous cell carcinoma (also called epidermoid carcinoma)
    • Adenocarcinoma
    • Large cell carcinomas
  • Small cell lung cancer: There are two stages of small cell lung cancer:
    • Limited: cancer is generally found in only one lung.
    • Extensive: cancer has spread beyond the primary tumor in the lung into other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms when it first develops, but symptoms often become present after a tumor begins growing.

Lung cancer symptoms include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Bloody or rust-colored sputum
  • Hoarseness

Like many other cancers, lung cancer can cause:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Headache
  • Bone fractures

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.

Additional lung cancer risk factors include:

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Air pollution

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

The following are common procedures used to diagnose lung cancer:

Treatment for Lung Cancer

Treatment for lung cancer may include any of the following:

To schedule a lung cancer screening and get insurance pre-certification at Christian Hospital, call 314.653.4333.

For more information on lung cancer treatment or to schedule an appointment, contact Christian Hospital at 314.747.9355 or toll-free at 877.747.9355 or email us.