FACTS ABOUT LUNG CANCER

When you’re looking for cancer information and treatment in Elko, NV, we at Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center strive to be your lung cancer doctor of choice. We’re not only capable of offering high-quality cancer treatments – we’re here to provide compassionate care for all of our patients as well. We understand the importance of lung cancer awareness, which is why we’d like to teach you more about this disease how to both detect and prevent it.

There are three main types of lung cancer. These include non-small cell lung cancers (which make up 85 percent of all lung cancers), small cell lung cancers, and lung carcinoid tumors. Lung cancer is actually the second-most common type of cancer that’s found in both men and women. However, with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other lung cancer treatments, this is a disease that can be defeated.


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Causes of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is typically caused by the following risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Radon gas
  • Air pollution
  • Asbestos
  • A family history of lung cancer
  • Lung disease
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SYMPTOMS OF Lung Cancer

Around 25 percent of the patients that are diagnosed with lung cancer won’t have any noticeable symptoms beforehand. Fortunately, most patients will show several symptoms that can help lead to an early detection. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pains
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Preventing Lung Cancer

With lung cancer and any other disease, the most effective form of treatment is always by not developing it in the first place! While 100 percent avoidance unfortunately isn’t a possibility, there are still many ways that you can greatly decrease your likelihood of developing this disease. We recommend making the following lifestyle changes:

  • Stop smoking. The leading cause of lung cancer is tobacco. By quitting smoking (or not smoking to begin with), you’ll significantly lower your chances of developing lung cancer.
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke. Even if you’re not the one that’s smoking, secondhand smoke and smoke from other sources can cause the same kind of damage to you.
  • Test your home for radon. Behind smoking, radon is actually the second leading cause of lung cancer so making sure that your home is radon-free is a must for reducing your risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Doctors have suggested that eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables is beneficial when it comes to preventing lung cancer.
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TREATING LUNG CANCER

The course of lung cancer treatment varies based on which stage the patient is in, as well as the size and location of the tumor. Before treatment begins, surgery may be performed to discover the severity of the case and whether or not the tumor has spread into the lymph nodes.

In early-stage lung cancer, surgery to remove the tumor may be all that is prescribed. . In more advanced cases, a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to work within cancer cells by damaging their ability to multiple. Then, these cancer cells die and are removed from the body naturally. Chemotherapy works to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, using a combination of drugs.

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TYPES OF RADIATION THERAPY

There are varying types of external beam radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) that can be used to treat lung cancer. The techniques include three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D CRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and proton beam therapy.

Our center offers Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, whichis a specialized form of 3-D CRT that modifies the radiation by varying the intensity of each radiation beam. It enables the physician to more accurate conform the beam around a tumor that is more irregularly shaped or in close proximity to vital organs. It also reduces the amount of radiation received by healthy tissues or organs.

For complete information about all of our specialized therapies for individualized care, visit our Types of Radiation Therapy page.

At Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, we’re here to provide you with all of the support with all the lung cancer information you need. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any additional questions or are interested in treatment.

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CARING FOR YOURSELF DURING TREATMENT

Cancer treatment can be difficult. You have many issues to cope with. Your oncology team, along with family and friends are available to help.

  • Get plenty of rest during treatment, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
  • Follow your doctor's orders. Your doctor may ask you to call if you develop a fever of 101° F or higher.
  • Ask if you are unsure about anything. There are no stupid questions.
  • Tell your doctor about any medications, vitamins or supplements you are taking to make sure they are safe to use during radiation therapy.
  • Nutrition is important. Eat a balanced diet. Let your doctor know if you have trouble swallowing, food tastes funny or you have trouble eating.
  • Treat the skin exposed to radiation with special care. Wear a shirt when you're in the sun, avoid hot or cold packs, only use lotions and ointments after checking with your doctor or nurse, and clean the area with warm water and mild soap.
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Lung Cancer Resources

American Lung Association

1-800-LUNG-USA 
www.lungusa.org

Lungcancer.org

1-800-813-HOPE
www.lungcancer.org

Lung Cancer Alliance

1-800-298-2436
www.lungcanceralliance.org

Also see Helpful Links

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BROCHURE

Download a helpful brochure from www.rtanswers.org

*Content provided by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, www.rtanswers.org, and the American Cancer Society.

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