Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. Typically, lung cancer is more prominent in older individuals, with most cases being diagnosed past the age of 65. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Researchers have found several factors that increase your risk of lung cancer. Some that you can control include:

  • Tobacco smoke: smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer. It accounts for almost 80% of lung cancer deaths. Firsthand tobacco use isn’t the only risk. Secondhand smoke can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Cancer causing agents: exposure to cancer causing agents such as radon, asbestos, and workplace chemicals (radioactive ores, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, silica, vinyl chloride, nickel compounds, chromium compounds, coal products, mustard gas, more) can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Certain dietary supplements: 2 large studies found that people who smoked who took beta carotene supplements actually had an increased risk of lung cancer. The results of these studies suggest that people who smoke should avoid taking beta carotene supplements.

The Most Common Symptoms of Lung Cancer Include:

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • New onset of wheezing

Because these symptoms may overlap with those of other conditions, it is important to get the correct diagnosis to find the right treatment. Use the form below to talk to one of our specialist about your symptoms today.

Can you test for lung cancer?

As with all cancers, an important part of the treatment process is detecting the cancer as early as possible. There are a few tests that will help determine if your symptoms are linked to lung cancer. In most cases your doctor will conduct a medical history and physical exam to look for signs of lung cancer. Your physician may also request one of the following imaging tests to provide further information.

  • Chest X-Ray
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Bone scan

To find out more about the screening options, or to schedule a consultation, please fill out the form. One of our dedicated team members will follow up with more information, and help answer any questions you may have.

    How do we treat lung cancer?

    Radiation can be used before lung cancer surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any cancer cells left in the lungs. Sometimes external radiation is used as the main type of lung cancer treatment. This is often the case for people who may not be healthy enough to have surgery or whose cancer has spread too far to have surgery. Radiation therapy for lung cancer also can be used to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer, such as pain, bleeding, or blockage of airways by the tumor. Treatments are scheduled Monday through Friday over the course of several weeks. In some cases, we can delivery higher doses of radiation in fewer treatments.

    At South Georgia Center for Cancer Care, we utilize various types of radiation therapy to treat lung cancer. Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays that target specific cancer sites. Our advanced technology allows us to precisely aim the radiation at the tumor while avoiding damage to the normal, healthy cells. Radiation may be used to destroy cancer cells, relieve symptoms associated with cancer, and/or prevent the cancer from returning.

    Your treatment is custom-tailored and unique to your diagnosis, tumor size, location and involvement. Your radiation oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation) will review all available treatment options and recommend a personalized plan for you based on national guidelines, which guide all cancer treatments. Radiation therapy is used either alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery.

    Radiation can be delivered either from outside the body with a machine called a linear accelerator (external beam radiation) or from a radiation source implanted permanently or temporarily in the body (brachytherapy).

    Benefits of Radiation Therapy:

    • Pain Free Treatment Delivery
    • Non-Invasive
    • Custom Tailored Treatment Plan
    • Little to No Side Effects
    • Immediate Return to Daily Activities
    • Minimal Radiation Exposure to Adjacent Healthy Tissue
    Halcyon for Lung Cancer Treatment

    Varian’s Halcyon Platform utilizes image guided radiation therapy to provide a consistent treatment based on a predetermined customized treatment plan. By collecting 3-Dimensional images of your cancer, our Radiation Oncologist are able to sculpt each dose of radiation to avoid any adjacent healthy tissue. The Halcyon’s 6-point safety system provides confidence and ease to pre-treatment setup process. It’s intuitive design is focused on you the patient. By offering a smoother motor design, quieter linear accelerator, and lower couch height, we can lower your stress and limit the treatment time.

    In developing Halcyon, Varian set out to rethink the way we approached radiotherapy so you can redefine the way you fight cancer. Every single component, innovation, and minute detail has been designed, engineered, tested, re-tested, and then seamlessly integrated to work together in perfect harmony. The Halcyon is designed to be intuitive, friendly, and comfortable for both the clinical staff and patients. A faster setup process allows our staff the opportunity to provide the highest level of care for every patient.

    what to expect
    1

    Initial Scans

    To create a customized treatment plan, you will have a CT or PET/CT scan to identify the exact location of your cancer.
    2

    Pre-Treatment Preparation

    Ink marks or small tattoo-like dots will be placed on your skin in the area of the tumor to ensure the radiation is delivered to the tumor. The markings will be visible on your skin, but only in the area of the tumor and are permanent. They are designed to fade and will begin to disappear towards the end of your radiation treatments. Occasionally, the markings will have to be reapplied to your skin during treatment. It is very important that you do not scrub the markings during your bathing/showering. Your radiation therapist will discuss with you how to care for your skin during your treatments, including protecting the markings.
    3

    Radiation Treatment Scheduling

    Radiation treatments happen Monday through Friday for a number of weeks, usually for 5-8 weeks. Weekend breaks, on Saturday and Sunday, allow your normal cells to recover and assist your healing process.
    4

    Treatment Room

    Our radiation therapists will bring you from the waiting room, into the treatment room with the linear accelerator (radiation machine). The therapist will make you comfortable in the room and assist you in getting positioned on the treatment table.
    5

    Delivery Machine Setup

    Two therapists will align the laser to the target on your skin, indicated by the “tattoo-like” markings. Alignment takes only a couple of minutes. The therapists will then leave the room to deliver and monitor your treatment.
    6

    Delivery of Radiation Therapy

    During the treatment the machine will move over your body. You won’t feel anything. It’s much like having an x-ray. Sometimes the specific area of skin receiving treatment, can get tender and sunburned, your healthcare team will want to know if you are experiencing any burning or discomfort during your treatment. Your healthcare team will guide you with proper care of your skin. Typically the treatment takes about 10-15 minutes. The most common side effect of radiation therapy is fatigue – it is very important to get plenty of rest and adequate nutrition.
    7

    Post Treatment Followup

    Generally, you will see your doctor weekly. However, we are always available if you need us.

    Take The Next Step

    If are showing any of the symptoms listed on this page, are prone to the risks listed above, or are seeking more information on lung cancer screenings or available treatment options, please click on the button below. Conveniently located in Statesboro, GA, our friendly, courteous staff is always willing to answer questions, and we make every effort to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

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    The doctors, nurses and staff are very committed to providing the best care. If I could do anywhere in the world, I would still go there.

    Henry

    I love them all dearly. They do everything right – they ask how you are doing physically and emotionally, they listen, they stay on schedule. They really care. I just can’t say enough good things about them.

    Sandra

    It’s the best treatment you could ever get. I rate them as high as the scale goes.

    Ronnie

    I've never been treated better in my life. My care was perfect. They made it quick and easy so I could get back to doing what I enjoy.

    Billy