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. Those who smoke cigarettes have an increased risk for lung cancer.
Lung cancer specialists in Florida
Finding out you have cancer is never easy, especially when it comes to something as vital as your lungs.
There can be so many emotions, including frustration, sadness and confusion. At HCA Florida Physicians, we're here to provide hope. Our network of physicians across Florida employs lung cancer specialists who are dedicated to crafting a treatment plan with the best possible outcome for you.
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Lung cancer treatments and services we offer
We offer comprehensive lung cancer care, from preventive screenings to advanced treatments.
Lung cancer screenings
Lung cancer screening is performed using a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which is used to take a picture of your lungs. This image allows your doctor to view any potential cancerous tumors within the lungs.
Without lung cancer screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms, which is most often at a later state that is much more difficult to treat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a lung cancer screening if you:
- Have a heavy smoking history
- Are a former smoker who has quit within the past 15 years
- Are 55 to 80 years old
Treatment for lung cancer
Our main goal when providing treatment for lung cancer is to produce positive outcomes for our patients. To do this, we offer various treatment options to ensure your care plan works for your unique situation.
Radiation therapy is a common type of cancer treatment that is used to shrink or destroy a tumor.
During radiation therapy, beams of energy are aimed directly at the tumor to shrink the cancerous cells. This ability to directly target the tumor causes less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Your doctor may recommend surgery as a treatment option for lung cancer. The most common type of surgical procedure performed is a lobectomy. During a lobectomy, the surgeon will remove the lobe (section) of the lung that is affected by the cancerous tumor.
Our lung cancer specialists
Often, lung cancer symptoms, especially in the early stages, can mimic common, non-serious pulmonary conditions. Because of this, your first line of defense in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer may be one of our expert pulmonologists.
After you have received a diagnosis, you will likely be referred to one of our lung cancer specialists. These specialists have extensive experience with lung cancer and partner with the other cancer specialists and medical professionals in our network to provide comprehensive care.
But no matter who is involved in your care, one thing is for certain — they are dedicated to helping you return to a healthy life.
Understanding lung cancer
Below you will find information about risk factors and symptoms of lung cancer. Identifying risk factors early and being knowledgeable about the signs of lung cancer can help protect your respiratory health.
Lung cancer risk factors
There are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing lung cancer, including:
- Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products
- Breathing in secondhand smoke
- Being exposed to high levels of radon
- Being exposed to workplace substances, including asbestos
- Being a lung cancer survivor, especially if you smoke
- Being a cancer survivor who had radiation therapy to the chest
- Having family members who have had lung cancer
It is important to note that, according to the CDC, a majority of lung cancers are caused by smoking and tobacco use. In fact, smoking causes about 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.
Lung cancer symptoms
Symptoms of lung cancer can include:
- Chronic cough
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarse voice
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Unexplained weight loss or lack of appetite
If you have any of the above symptoms, it's important to discuss them with your healthcare provider.