Also known as: Cancer, lung
Providence Thoracic Oncology Program serves physicians and their patients who have cancers of the chest, including lung cancer.
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Find information about diagnosis, treatment, and living with lung cancer.
View the archived presentations of our 2010 symposia presented to lung cancer specialists
Come for one appointment. See multiple specialists. Receive one comprehensive treatment plan. All on one day.
If you smoke, one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health is to quit smoking. Providence Health & Services supports you in this effort. The resources below can help you stop smoking for good.
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.
Patients and referring physicians need ready access to quality indicators when making decisions about surgical care.
Q: "My 65-year-old father has been smoking for decades and refuses to quit. He knows smoking causes cancer but says quitting will do no good because the damage is already done. Would quitting now do anything to reduce his risk?"
Q: “I’ve tried to quit smoking several times, but it never sticks. With Oregon’s new smoking ban in effect, I’m ready to be done with it. Are there any new drugs or programs that can improve my results? What is the most effective, proven way to quit for good?”
Answer from Meera Jain, M.D., co-medical director, Providence Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program:
Q: “I’m 23 years old, and the thing I regret most is putting that first cigarette in my mouth. I’ve been smoking for three years, 18 to 25 cigarettes a day. Today, I decided to quit. In three years of smoking, how much did I damage my body? Is there any chance of becoming as healthy as a lifelong nonsmoker?”
Q: "I quit smoking 15 years ago after smoking a pack or two a day for 28 years. Now I want to do all I can to lessen the effects of my earlier bad habits. Are there any dietary measures, supplements or other strategies you know of that may help prevent cancer?"
Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?
Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:
Q: “I’m 17, and I've smoked twice in my life, both times last month. Now I’m coughing and my chest has a raw feeling to it. I’m not coughing up blood and I don't have shortness of breath, but I did hold the smoke in my mouth, and I breathed a little second-hand smoke, too. Could I have lung cancer?”
Q: "Both of my parents smoked their entire lives and never developed lung cancer. My father's parents were the same. With this family history, do I still need to worry about lung cancer? I only smoke about a pack a week."
Q: "How long does it take for lung cancer to develop, and can I determine when mine started growing?"
Q: “I was a lifelong smoker until last week, when I found out that I have lung cancer. Now I’m in fear for my life. What treatment approach do you recommend? Is there any hope for successful treatment?”
Q: "I have smoked in the past; is there any testing that I can have to screen for lung cancer?"
Q: "I was diagnosed with lung cancer six months ago and underwent surgery as part of my treatment. Since then I find myself getting short of breath very easily. Will this go away with time?"
Q: “If lung cancer is caught in the early stage and removed surgically, how does it come back? My surgeon said that he removed it all and there was no cancer in the nodes — but now it’s back. Why?”
Your questions answered by Providence lung cancer experts. Find answers to many questions that are commonly asked about smoking, tobacco use and lung cancer.
The 2008 symposium was held November 14 at the Providence Cancer Center in Portland, Oregon. Its objectives included teaching effective procedures to detect lung cancer; becoming familiar with the multidisciplinary approach to managing and treating lung cancer at Providence Cancer Center; and teaching effective ways to address tobacco dependence and to support patients’ efforts to quit smoking.
Providence Lung Cancer Clinic aims to improve outcomes by shortening time to treatment. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., medical oncologist
In early studies, nearly 90 percent of patients with an ALK genetic mutation responded to the drug, which targets metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., co-medical director, Providence Thoracic Oncology Program
Lung cancer facts compiled from www.lungcanceralliance.org and www.lungcancer.org
Q: "My father was exposed to asbestos at work when he was young, I heard asbestos is a risk factor for lung cancer. What is his risk?"
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?"
Q: "I have lung cancer, what risk is there that my family will develop lung cancer?"
Q: "What are the different types of lung cancer and what treatments are used for each type?"
Q: "What is the real risk of getting lung cancer if you smoke cigarettes and is there a "safe" smoking level?"
Q: I stopped smoking ten years ago, how much risk is there that I will develop lung cancer?
Q: My father and mother smoked during my childhood, what is my risk of lung cancer from this second hand smoke?
Q: What symptoms of lung cancer would be important to have checked out by a physician?
Q: What is a bronchoscopy and why is it used to detect lung cancer?
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.
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
A large national study reports that suspicious findings were three times greater with CT scans than with chest X-rays. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., medical oncologist
You already know that smoking is unhealthy. The word has been out since the first Surgeon General’s Report in 1964. One out of four smokers will die from their tobacco addiction. More than 420,000 will die this year. It is the single most preventable cause of death or illness in our country.
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.
A trial testing apricoxib with erlotinib showed longer survival in younger patients with metastatic lung cancer, but failed to meet its goal. – By Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D., medical oncologist
Imagine, for a moment, being inside your lungs, watching the millions of tiny hairs called cilia do their job of filtering out impurities. Then, observe as the smoke from one cigarette invades the lungs, paralyzing the cilia for 24 hours.
Let’s get specific: Reivew this chart to remind yourself of the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.
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:
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