Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells which crowd out and destroy healthy tissue. Lung cancer is a cancer that grows in the lungs themselves or in the breathing tubes (trachea or bronchus). Lung cancer remains the most common cancer related cause of death. Eighty percent of lung cancer cases are preventable.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
Symptoms of lung cancer vary. If the cancer develops in the trachea or bronchus, the patient may exhibit coughing due to the irritation of the growth. This growth can bleed making the patient cough up blood. As the tumor grows, the airway becomes blocked causing shortness of breath. Repeated lung infections and pneumonia are also seen in lung cancer cases.
If the tumor is located in the lung tissue itself, symptoms are usually not noticed until it grows larger. Symptoms of chest pain may be the first complaint of these patients.

Other symptoms may include:
-Weight loss
-Chest pain
-Abnormal chest x-ray

What are the causes and risk factors for lung cancer?
Smoking remains the number one cause of lung cancer. The more time and quantity the patient smokes, the greater the risk for developing lung cancer. If a patient stops smoking, the risk of developing lung cancer decreases each year as the healthy cells in the lungs begin to replace the abnormal ones. Second-hand smoke accounts for 30% of lung cancer cases diagnosed in people who have never smoked.

Other causes of lung cancer are:
-Radon. Radon is now considered to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
-Certain petroleum products

How is lung cancer diagnosed?
Unfortunately, lung cancer tends to produce no symptoms in its early stages, so often it is not diagnosed until it has become advanced. Symptoms of lung cancer also mimic many other lung problems, so a patient who has any of these symptoms should go see their physician. A medical history is taken by the physician, including questions about any exposure to hazardous substances. A physical exam is also performed by the physician. Additional testing may include:
-Blood tests
-Chest X-ray
-CT scan

-Sputum specimen

How is lung cancer treated?
Treatment for lung cancer will be decided on several factors including:
-Type of lung cancer
-Tumor size
-Tumor location
-Extent of the tumor (whether it has spread)

Many treatments are available, which may be used alone or in combination.
These include:
-Radiation therapy

Some patients may also be eligible to participate in clinical trials or research studies that look at new ways to treat lung cancer.


44000 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 113, Novi, MI 48377
248.465.9253 (WAKE) Fax: 248.465.9285
© 2015 The Center for Respiratory and Sleep Disorders