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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.

Lung cancer care in Nashville, Tennessee

We're here to help you through every step of your lung cancer journey.

Our oncologists work with you to create a personalized lung cancer treatment plan. From diagnosis to recovery, your cancer care team at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at TriStar Health makes your road to recovery as smooth as possible.

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.

Lung cancer signs and symptoms

Lung cancer symptoms vary and often do not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some signs that lung cancer that may be present include:

  • Bone pain
  • Chest pain
  • Cough that does not go away
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Shortness of breath

Lung cancer treatments and services

Our lung cancer team includes pulmonologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons. All are specially trained to care for lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.

About lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Beginning as a growth of abnormal cells, the cancer grows to form a tumor, interfering with lung function. Lung cancer is treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Our dedicated oncologists offer individualized treatment plans so you can get the lung cancer care you deserve.

Types of lung cancer

Lung cancer is categorized into two types:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): This type of cancer is the most common and accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. NSCLC has three main types, which are determined by the type of cells found in the tumor. They include adenocarcinomas, large cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): Strongly related to smoking, SCLC comprises approximately 10 to 15 percent of lung cancers. As the most aggressive and fastest growing type of cancer, SCLC quickly spreads to many sites within the body.
Lung cancer screenings

As part of our comprehensive cancer care, we offer noninvasive, low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screenings for patients who may be at risk. The screening is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Available through our family of hospitals, LDCT is a scan designed to catch cancer its early stages. After your scan, your report will be sent to your primary care provider and a result letter will be mailed to you. If necessary, you may be referred for pulmonary care. In that case, one of our lung nodule coordinators will schedule an appointment for you with a pulmonologist.

LDCT is recommended for:

  • People between 55 and 77 years old
  • People who have smoked (on average) at least one pack a day for 30 years
  • People who smoke and are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms
  • Patients with symptoms of a lung condition at the time of the screening, such as a new cough or shortness of breath, are not eligible for LDCT screening.
Why is lung screening important?

LDCT scans are an effective way to detect lung cancer in current and former smokers at high risk who have no symptoms of lung cancer. Those at high risk who are routinely screened are more likely to detect lung cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.

Lung cancer symptoms can be easy to disregard, which makes screening and early detection even more important. To see if you are at risk, talk to your primary care doctor or call askSARAH at (615) 514-2401.

Lung cancer treatment

Depending on the type and stage of your lung cancer, your doctor may recommend various treatment options. At our hospitals, your care plan may include wedge resection surgery (a procedure that removes the tumor and a portion of the surrounding tissue), radiation therapy, chemotherapy or immunotherapy. We know how overwhelming all of this can be, and that's why our dedicated team of oncologists will be with you every step of the way to walk you through your treatment plan and road to recovery.

Lung cancer support groups

Cancer support groups are designed to assist people with cancer and their loved ones with managing the difficulties and challenges cancer brings. There are also specific groups that are open to patients, survivors, friends and family members who have or are experiencing a lung cancer diagnosis.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Network of HCA Healthcare, our family of facilities offer integrated cancer programs with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for those facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology experts ensure 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 (352) 339-7000.

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We also offer quality care at these other locations in our extended network.
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