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Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. It kills more people than breast, colorectal and prostate cancers combined.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, and Spectrum Health's multidisciplinary team is making great strides in the treatment of this disease. The good news is that the Spectrum Health Cancer Center continues to make great advancements in the treatment of lung cancer.

Dr. Diego Conci, a doctor with Spectrum Health Medical Group Pulmonary Disease, talks about their multispecialty team clinic and the care they offer to treat lung cancer.

The leading causes of lung cancer are:

  • Smoking
  • Radon exposure
  • Hazardous Chemicals exposure
  • Particle Pollution
  • Genetics

Symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
  • Hoarseness
  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Coughing up blood

People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments. People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Screening with low dose computed tomography LDCT has been shown to reduce lung cancer mortality by about 20% compared to chest X-Ray among current or former (quit within 15 years) heavy smokers

Lung cancer can be prevented and avoided by doing the following:

  • Don’t start smoking
  • Quit if you smoke.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Make your home and car smoke-free.
  • Get your home tested for radon

For those who are worried they might have lung cancer, Spectrum Health offers a screening clinic. Their lung cancer screening program was again named a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, recognizing that we are committed to best practices in quality and standards in lung cancer screening.

Adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years qualify for a screening. Screening is covered by most insurers as a preventative screening if patients meet criteria.

Patients can be referred to our screening program or self-refer (1-885-SHCANCER) or (486-LUNG).

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