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According to the American Cancer Society, if you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, you are at risk of getting lung cancer- the leading cause of death among both men and women.

Risk factors

In addition to smoking, you may be at higher risk of developing the disease if:

  • You are exposed to toxins where you work
  • You are exposed to radon, radiation, asbestos or pollution
  • You have certain lung diseases such as tuberculosis
  • You have had lung cancer before

Prevention

Experts agree that the easiest way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking or alleviate your exposure to secondhand smoke. Throughout the year, Norton Cancer Institute offers a smoking cessation program for people who want to quit.  Participants have access to:

  • Expertise of specially trained respiratory therapists
  • A 13-week series of instruction classes in the Cooper-Clayton Method to Stop Smoking
  • Personal support group available to address all aspects of smoking and addiction

For more information on the cessation program or for a free lung cancer assessment, call (502) 629-1234.

Signs and Symptoms

If you believe you are at high-risk for lung cancer, you should consult your doctor. Symptoms lung cancer may include:

  • A cough that doesn't go away or gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
  • Repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Fatigue

Detection

To detect lung cancer at an earlier stage, Norton Cancer Institute uses high-speed, multi-slice CT scanning technology which can find the tiniest of nodules. This painless screening can identify suspicious lesions when the tumors are small and can often be surgically removed.

Patients with lung nodules that require further diagnostic testing or monitoring are excellent candidates for the Multidisciplinary Lung Clinic. Treatment of lung masses involves many different specialties; the center brings together expertise from multiple fields to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.

For more information on lung cancer prevention, contact the Norton Cancer Institute Prevention & Early Detection Program at 1-800-555-6772 or (502) 629-5500 or email cancer@nortonhealthcare.org.  A health care professional will research and respond to your question within 48-hours.  Exceptions may include weekends and holidays. 

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