Phoenix Lung Cancer Treatment

Being diagnosed with lung cancer is certain to be a confusing and frightening experience. But the experts at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists can help you untangle the confusion and give you the information you need about the variety of treatment options available to you. One of the best treatment options can be found at any of our six Phoenix area locations. Our radiation oncologists will learn about your specific lung cancer circumstances, your medical history and your own thoughts about your situation to help you make the best treatment decisions for you.

What is Lung Cancer?

With lung cancer, an abnormal cell in the lungs quickly reproduces to form a malignant mass or tumor. The key to treating lung cancer is to diagnose the disease early before it has the chance to metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, this is often difficult because the symptoms of lung cancer are not unique. Your caring radiation oncologists at Palo Verde Cancer Centers use the most effective and clinically proven techniques to treat your lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in both men and women, behind breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. One of four people in the U.S. diagnosed with cancer will die of lung cancer, making it the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country. People who are over 60-years-old and those who smoke cigarettes or are exposed to secondhand smoke are much more likely to get lung cancer. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and rapid weight loss.

Lung cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate, at 17.8%, than any other type of cancer. Chances of survival are greatly increased if the lung cancer is diagnosed and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. More than half of people diagnosed with lung cancer die within the year. Your Palo Verde Cancer Specialists will implement the best treatment options for your situation.

Types of Lung Cancer

The two major types of lung cancer are: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). During your consultation, your Phoenix oncologist will plan out the best course of action depending on this distinction.

  • Almost all (80%) of lung cancers are the slower-spreading NSCLC. It is divided into three sub-categories: adenocarcinoma, which is found in the outer lung; squamous cell carcinoma, discovered in the center of the lung near an air tube; and large cell carcinoma, which can appear in any part of the lung and tends to spread faster than other types of NSCLC.
  • SCLC is the type of lung cancer that is mostly commonly associated with cigarette smoking. It is divided into two sub-categories: small cell carcinoma and combined SCLC, which includes large cells.
  • A less common third form of lung cancer, carcinoid tumors, develop more slowly than other forms and typically require surgery to treat.

All of these types of cancers can be treated by a variety of options. Your Palo Verde Cancer Specialists will evaluate the specific type of cancer, the stage of the cancer, whether it has spread or not, your medical health, your age and your desires, and more to determine the right treatment for you that will generate the best possible outcomes for your lung cancer. Some of the treatment options you will want to consider include: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, clinical trials, and/or palliative care. There is recent research that shows that patients have had more favorable results when their early stage operable lung cancer was treated with CyberKnife stereotactic radiation therapy (SABR) rather than surgery.

Lung Cancer Risk Factors

Having more of a risk of getting lung cancer can actually be controlled by some everyday life choices. Other risk factors are hereditary. Risk factors include:

  • Smoking – Cigarette smoking is, by far, the number one risk factor for developing lung cancer, linked to 80% in women and 90% in men of lung cancers in the U.S. Male smokers are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared to non-smokers; 13 times more likely in women. Smoking pipe tobacco and cigars also raise the risk. Tobacco smokers inhale a toxic blend of more than 7,000 chemicals, and the more they smoke, the greater the risk becomes. People who quit smoking can begin to slowly lower the risk of getting lung cancer.
  • Secondhand Smoke – If you are exposed to secondhand smoke at work, home, or school, you are increasing your chances of getting lung cancer by 20% to 30%. Secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 non-smoker deaths each year.
  • Radon – Radon is a naturally occurring carcinogen found in the earth that causes lung cancer, and can be difficult to detect as it is invisible and odorless. Because it is a byproduct of the radioactive decay of uranium in the soil, the levels that you may be exposed to in your home or at work can vary depending on your geographic location. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer. One in 15 homes is thought to have excessive radon levels. The USDA recommends testing your home from radon and implementing strategies to lower it if it is too high. Smoking significantly increases the risk of mortality in cancer patients who are exposed to radon.
  • Personal Or Family History – If there is a history of lung cancer in your immediate family, you are at an increased risk. If you have had lung cancer before and you still smoke, there is a chance it will reappear.
  • Chest Radiation Therapy – If you have had radiation therapy to your chest area previously, there is a greater chance you could develop lung cancer.
  • Diet – Researchers continue to try to connect any food or beverages that may cause cancer. They have determined that smokers who take beta-carotene supplements are at a greater risk. Additionally, low levels of arsenic in well water has been linked to cancer.

Contact your Phoenix Area Experts For More Information

Lung cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, both because of the difficulty of early detection, and because the tumors in lungs move as you breathe, making them difficult to target. Find out more about how the the radiation oncologists at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists can treat your lung cancer using the CyberKnife system. This highly sophisticated technology has the ability to target your tumor as it moves for optimum effectiveness. And with six locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale areas, you are sure to find our experts close at hand. Contact us at any of these locations anytime to speak to a cancer specialist and set up your first visit to one of our Phoenix area cancer treatment centers. We’re here to answer all of your questions and work with you to optimize a lung cancer treatment plan that is right for you.

  • Find out more about brain cancer:
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  • Lung Cancer – Our Treatment Options

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