We treat lung cancer differently than other health care facilities in North Texas

Lung cancer continues to affect large numbers of people. It is associated with several risk factors including tobacco smoking and inhalation of second-hand smoke, radon exposure, consistent exposure to air pollution, age, family history of lung cancer, personal history of lung cancer, and exposure to asbestos and potentially carcinogenic chemicals. It is of different types including small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Its symptoms include continuous chest pain, coughing that worsens, coughing that produces blood, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, weight loss that cannot be explained, lung infections that keep recurring and pronounced fatigue that is ongoing.

Since these symptoms could signify several other diseases, the doctor must conduct a physical exam to identify lung cancer. This exam can culminate in further tests. These tests include:

  • A sputum cytology which is meant to look at the thick fluid coughed up (sputum).  A bronchoscopy where a thin tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and into the chest in order to further examine the chest and collect samples if necessary.
  • Fluid can be removed from the lungs using a thoracentesis which involves inserting a long needle into the chest and using it to remove the fluid. It can also be done using a fine-needle aspiration which utilizes a thin needle instead.
  • A thoracotomy involves opening up the chest to remove lymph nodes and tissue samples. In a thoracoscopy, a surgeon makes tiny incisions in the back and then passes a thin lighted tube to examine the chest.

Treatment will depend on the type of lung cancer. Approaches include radiation or surgery where the cancer cells are directly targeted. This is known as local treatment. Systemic treatment is where drugs are used toget rid of the cancer cells in the whole body. This method includes targeted therapy and chemotherapy. Working together with the doctor, patients receive the appropriate care and treatment to meet their individual needs.

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