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Ask An Expert

Lung Cancer: "Ask an Expert" and Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions answered by Providence lung cancer experts. Find answers to many questions that are commonly asked about smoking, tobacco use and lung cancer.

Chest Watch Event - Twitter Highlights

Bringing science education to life, Providence School Outreach hosted more than 125 Portland-area high school students for a live “Chest Watch” surgery as Dr. John Handy, thoracic surgeon with Providence Thoracic Oncology Program, performed an initial lung thoracoscopy and then lobectomy on a life-long smoker.

Forms Instructions

Lung cancer patient information

Find information about diagnosis, treatment, and living with lung cancer.

Peer reviewed articles and outcomes

References: Attributes Contributing to Superior Outcomes in the Surgical Management Of Early-Stage Lung Cancer and Examples of Implementing...

Thoracic Oncology Program Symposia and Seminars

Lung cancer educational seminars are offered annually in November. These are on a three-year rotation with seminars specific to primary care providers, lung specialists and patients.

Thoracic surgery health professional information

Orders, protocols and guidelines to be used with thoracic surgery patients.

Thoracic Surgery Outcomes Data

Patients and referring physicians need ready access to quality indicators when making decisions about surgical care.

Thoracic Surgery Patient Information

The Providence Thoracic Surgery team has created standardized practices and protocols to improve patient care and create better outcomes for thoracic surgery patients. 

Proprietary Health Article

Lung Cancer FAQ: Chemotherapy for stage IV lung cancer

Q: "I have stage IV lung cancer. Why is chemotherapy sometimes used to treat later stage (Stage IV) lung cancer? What would happen if I did not take chemotherapy?"

Lung Cancer FAQ: Inherited risk of lung cancer

Q: "I have lung cancer, what risk is there that my family will develop lung cancer?"

Lung Cancer FAQ: Lung cancer types and treatments

Q: "What are the different types of lung cancer and what treatments are used for each type?"

Lung Cancer FAQ: Risk of cancer from smoking

Q: "What is the real risk of getting lung cancer if you smoke cigarettes and is there a "safe" smoking level?"

Lung Cancer FAQ: Risk of exposure from smoking ten years ago

Q: I stopped smoking ten years ago, how much risk is there that I will develop lung cancer?

Lung Cancer FAQ: Secondhand smoke

Q: My father and mother smoked during my childhood, what is my risk of lung cancer from this second hand smoke?

Lung Cancer FAQ: Symptoms of lung cancer

Q: What symptoms of lung cancer would be important to have checked out by a physician?

Lung Cancer FAQ: Using bronchoscopy to detect lung cancer

Q: What is a bronchoscopy and why is it used to detect lung cancer?

Lung Cancer Overview for Primary Care Providers

John R. Handy, Jr., M.D., discusses the epidemiology of lung cancer and sets the stage for the remainder of the presentations at Providence Thoracic Oncology Program's seventh annual lung cancer symposium. 

Lung cancer screening comes of age

Advanced imaging now leads to earlier detection and better outcomes. Which of your patients will benefit most from annual screening? – By Jonathan Daniel, M.D., thoracic surgeon

Sixth Annual Providence Thoracic Oncology Symposium

Providence Cancer Center offered this state-of-the-art symposium to lung cancer specialists in the Pacific Northwest on November 17, 2007. 

The most recent technological advances in pulmonology, thoracic surgery, interventional pulmonology and radiation oncology were presented by internationally renowned physicians who share Providence Thoracic Oncology Program's  dedication to advancing state-of-the-art care for lung cancer patients nationwide.

Follow the links below to view the symposium presentations in their entirety.

Smoking’s Immediate Effects on the Body

Many teenagers and adults think that there are no effects of smoking on their bodies until they reach middle age. Smoking-caused lung cancer, other cancers, heart disease, and stroke typically do not occur until years after a person's first cigarette. However, there are many serious harms from smoking that occur much sooner. In fact, smoking has numerous immediate health effects on the brain and on the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic systems.

Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Care Approach

Providence Thoracic Oncology Program takes a multidisciplinary care approach to treating lung cancer. Your multidisciplinary thoracic oncology care team consists of the following trained specialists:

Recommended Resource

American Association for Thoracic Surgery Website

American Association for Thoracic Surgery is a website promoting scholarship in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery.

American Board of Thoracic Surgery

The primary purpose and most essential function of the Board is to protect the public by establishing and maintaining high standards in thoracic surgery. 

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s home page with links to all types of cancer, symptoms, treatment options, statistics trials and ways to contribute. 

American Cancer Society: Cancer staging

American Cancer Society’s description and explanation of staging cancer. Staging is the process of finding out how much cancer there is in the body and where it is located. It is how the doctor learns the stage of a person's cancer. Doctors use this information to plan treatment and to help find out a person's outlook (prognosis). 

American College of Chest Physicians

A resource for thoracic surgeons that includes information about professional events, continuing education opportunities and journal articles.

American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is dedicated to improving the care of the surgical patient and to safeguarding standards of care in optimal and ethical practice environment.

American College of Surgeons Oncology Group

The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) was established to evaluate the surgical management of patients with malignant solid tumors.

American Thoracic Society Website

The American Thoracic Society was founded to help find a cure for tuberculosis. Today, the society is devoted to ongoing lung health and research.

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine: Symptoms of tobacco dependence after brief intermittent use

A research article on the development and assessment of nicotine dependence in Youth-2 Study (youth who smoke occasionally.)

Healthfinder.gov: Lung Cancer

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services page on Lung Cancer. The site lists risks and causes of lung cancer, along with resources for additional facts and information.

Is surgery getting safer? National trends in operative mortality.

BACKGROUND: Although mortality rates for some cardiovascular procedures seem to have declined, it is unclear whether other high-risk procedures are becoming safer over time. STUDY DESIGN: We examined national trends between 1994 and 1999 in operative mortality for 14 high-risk cardiovascular and cancer procedures in the national population of Medicare beneficiaries over age 65. Secular trends were examined using logistic regression adjusting for age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, admission acuity, comorbidities, and hospital volume. RESULTS: Observed mortality rates varied widely across the 14 procedures, from 2% (carotid endarterectomy) to 16% (esophagectomy). 

Medline Plus: Lung cancer

U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus page on lung cancer. This page provides definition, symptoms and resources for treatmtent.

Morbidity and Mortality of Major Pulmonary Resections in Patients with Early-Stage Lung Cancer: Initial Results of the Randomized, Prospective ACOSOG Z0030 Trial.

Abstract BACKGROUND: Little prospective, multiinstitutional data exist regarding the morbidity and mortality after major pulmonary resections for lung cancer or whether a mediastinal lymph node dissection increases morbidity and mortality.

National Cancer Institute

National Cancer Institute home page with links to all cancer topics, clinical trial information, statistics, research and treatment information.

National Cancer Institute: Lung cancer

The National Cancer Institute’s page on lung cancer, providing the definition, estimated cases and deaths and resources for research and funding.

National Library of Medicine

The National Library of Medicine is an online resource from the National Institutes of Health with featured health information for the public and health care professionals.

Oregon Tobacco Quit Line

Oregon’s resource for smoking cessation. Provides online tools and support in English and Spanish.

Patterns of surgical care of lung cancer patients

BACKGROUND: This survey was performed to determine the patterns of surgical care provided patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). METHODS: In 2001, the American College of Surgeons carried out a patient care survey of 729 hospitals to retrieve information of NSCLC patients' history, evaluation, pathology, and surgical treatment. 

RadiologyInfo.org

The radiology information resource for patients, provides a glossary of terms and information about patient safety and treatment.

Specialists Achieve Better Outcomes than Generalists for Lung Cancer Surgery

Abstract: Objective: A push toward care provided by generalists as opposed to specialists has occurred in the health-care marketplace despite a lack of provider specific outcome data. The objective of this study was to determine whether the outcome of patients undergoing lung cancer surgery is different between general surgeons (GSs) and thoracic surgeons (TSs).

Surgeon Specialty and Operative Mortality with Lung Resection.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine the effect of subspecialty training on operative mortality following lung resection. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: While several different surgical subspecialists perform lung resection for cancer, many believe that this procedure is best performed by board-certified thoracic surgeons. 

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network

CTSNet, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation jointly created by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), and the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery (EACTS). 

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Network Journals

CTSNet’s website section devoted to professional journals published by members and colleagues.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is dedicated to enhancing the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research and advocacy.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Patient Information

STS Patient Information is created and maintained by members of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). It provides information about diseases treated by cardiothoracic surgeons.

CancerCare.org

Cancer Care is a national nonprofit that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer.

Cancer.net (AKA: People Living with Cancer)

Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Cancer.net: Lung cancer resources

Cancer.Net page for lung cancer provides an overview of the disease, statistics and places to go to learn about risk factors and treatment.