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Lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers, and is highly treatable. It can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This cancer is strongly linked to a history of smoking, so you should seek lung cancer screening to determine your risk of developing this disease.

Comprehensive lung cancer care in Wichita

Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Wesley Healthcare aims to increase the early detection of lung cancer through innovative programs and lung cancer screenings.

If lung cancer is detected, you can be assured that you will receive comprehensive cancer care and thorough follow-up evaluations at Wesley Healthcare.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Types of lung cancer

There are two types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer and accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers. There are various types of non-small cell tumors, including adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large-cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer: Small cell lung cancer begins in the nerve cells or the hormone-producing cells in the lung. Small cell lung cancer is more likely to be linked to smoking than non-small cell lung cancer. It grows more rapidly and spreads easily to other parts of the body earlier than non-small cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer symptoms

The signs and symptoms of lung cancer can take years to develop and may not appear until the disease is advanced.

Symptoms of lung cancer in the chest include:

  • Coughing, especially if it persists or becomes intense
  • Pain in the chest, shoulder or back unrelated to pain from coughing
  • A change in color or volume of sputum
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in the voice or being hoarse
  • Harsh sounds with each breath (stridor)
  • Recurrent lung problems, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Coughing up phlegm or mucus, especially if it is tinged with blood
  • Coughing up blood

If the original lung cancer has spread, a person may feel symptoms in other places in the body. Common places for lung cancer to spread include other parts of the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, brain, liver and adrenal glands.

Symptoms of lung cancer that may occur elsewhere in the body include:

  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  • Muscle wasting (also known as cachexia)
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, bone or joint pain
  • Bone fractures not related to accidental injury
  • Neurological symptoms, such as unsteady walking or memory loss
  • Neck or facial swelling
  • General weakness
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots

Lung cancer treatment

There are four cancer treatment options that our oncologists offer for lung cancer patients, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. The treatment options depend on the size and location of the tumor, the type of lung cancer, whether the cancer has spread and the person’s overall health.

Our multispecialty team will collaborate to determine the best course of treatment for you, and our nurse navigator will coordinate your care throughout your journey to recovery.

Lung cancer screening

Wesley offers lung cancer screenings with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

It is common for a low-dose CT lung screening to show small, abnormal nodules in the lungs, especially in current or former smokers. A lung nodule is a spot on the lung that can be seen on an X-ray or CT scan. This overgrowth of tissue is either a benign (non-cancerous) tumor or an early stage of lung cancer. Many nodules cause no symptoms at all, which is why many are found accidentally on CT scans or X-rays.

About one in four screening tests will show something abnormal in the lungs or nearby areas that might be cancer.

LDCT exposes people to a small amount of radiation. The unit for measuring radiation dose is called a millisievert. An LDCT scan radiation dose is 1.5 millisievert, which is equal to a person’s natural exposure every six months.

Screening with LDCT will not find all lung cancers, not all of the cancers that are found will be found early, and not all nodules detected will be cancerous. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of lung screening to see if the procedure is right for you.


Candidates for a lung cancer screening

To be eligible for a lung cancer screening, you must:

  • Be 55 to 77 years old
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer present, such as a cough that does not go away, chest pain with deep breathing, hoarseness, weight loss, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing or repeated lung infections
  • Currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years
  • Have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year)
  • Annual adherence is vital to promote early diagnosis and prevention

Call our Wesley oncology nurse navigator at (316) 962-LUNG (5864) or your primary care physician to determine your eligibility for the screening. If you are eligible for the screening, the nurse navigator will contact your primary care physician for the order. After the screening, the nurse navigator will send your results to the referring physician, as well as coordinate any follow-up care, if necessary.

The screening may be covered by major insurance plans, but please check with your insurance provider regarding coverage. If not covered by insurance, the screening is $249.

Lung cancer screening locations

Patients may receive a lung cancer screening at the following Wesley Healthcare locations:

Incidental Lung Nodule Program

Wesley knows that finding lung cancer at an early stage can make all the difference for a patient’s outlook. To help with early detection, any patient that visits one of our Wesley Healthcare emergency rooms and has a CT scan as part of their care will have their scan examined for lung nodules.

If a lung nodule is detected, you will be referred to our lung nurse navigator. Your primary care physician will receive a CT scan report with the recommended follow-up care. The recommendations are based on the 2017 Fleischner Society guidelines for incidental pulmonary nodules.

Lung Cancer Screening is an Important Key to Survival

There is no cancer that kills more men and women than lung cancer. That's why screening is so important.
Early detection can be the difference between life and death.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (316) 776-6470.

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