Lung Cancer

Worried you may be at risk?

Get a detailed picture of your lungs. If you're ages 55 to 77 and have a history of smoking, a lung screening can provide peace of mind. Community offers a painless, low-dose CT lung cancer screening. Talk to your doctor and schedule a lung cancer screening at Community today.

Whether you're worried about smoking and your risk for lung cancer....if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung cancer and needs a place for exceptional treatment....or you just want just a second opinion, Community has the answers when it comes to lung cancer. Thanks to our exclusive affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network®, our certified cancer specialists provide the best surgical options, radiation therapy, medical oncology and survivor support when you face cancer in Central Indiana.

Find a Thoracic Surgeon

Did you know?

  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide (prostate is number one in men; in women, it's breast).
  • It is by far the leading cancer killer in both men and women, causing more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate).
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 228,150 new cases and 142,670 deaths from lung cancer (non-small cell and small cell combined) in the United States in 2019.
  • In Indiana in 2018, the American Cancer Society estimated there were 5,840 new cases of lung/bronchus cancer (the highest across all cancers) with close to 4,000 expected to die from it.

What's my risk?

Smoking - even exposure to second-hand smoke - is the number one risk factor associated with lung cancer. The good news is that smoking is a factor you can control, and that quitting smoking even after years of smoking can significantly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.

Other risk factors for lung cancer include exposure to radon gas (often found in homes), asbestos and other chemicals, and air pollution. Previous occurrence of lung cancer or lung disease, chest/breast radiation therapy, and a family history of lung cancer also increase risk.

Lung cancer is mostly a disease of older adults (>80% of those living with lung cancer are age 60 or older). More men are diagnosed with lung cancer, but more women live with lung cancer. African-American men are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than persons of any other racial or ethnic group.

Could I have lung cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer are often different from person to person; some people may never experience symptoms. Symptoms of lung cancer often do not appear until the advanced stages of lung cancer. Some common signs of lung cancer include chronic cough, coughing up blood, hoarseness, wheezing or unexplained weight loss. These symptoms can be indicators of other medical conditions, so it's important to be evaluated by your healthcare provider to determine the cause.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Persistent cough or cough that gets worse ("smoker's cough")
  • Chest pain that hurts more when coughing, laughing or breathing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit (phlegm)
  • Arm or shoulder pain
  • Recurring pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in neck or face
  • Clubbing of fingers (due to swelling)
  • Feeling unusually tired or weak

Lung cancer at later stages may have spread to other parts of the body or organs. Signs of lung cancer that has spread may include:

  • Bone pain, such as in the back or hips
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or whites of the eyes)
  • Nervous system issues: nerve pain, dizziness, headache, tingling or numbness in arms or legs, trouble with balance, seizures
  • Lumps under the skin (swollen lymph nodes) in neck or shoulder area

Types of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a cancer that starts in the lungs, the two spongy organs in your chest that help you breathe. Two types of lung cancers account for about 95% of all lung cancer diagnoses: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) - NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, diagnosed in 85 to 90% of cases. NSCLSs include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. 
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) - SCLS is the second most common type (10 to 15% of lung cancer cases). Rarely found in non-smokers, SCLS is also known as oat cell cancer, oat cell carcinoma and small cell undifferentiated carcinoma.
  • Lung carcinoid tumors - The rarest type of lung cancer (<5% of lung cancers). Also known as neuroendocrine tumors or neuroendocrine cancers, these tumors start in the lungs and are slow-growing.

Facing lung cancer? Community can help!

Contact a Community cancer care location today to learn more about your treatment options for lung cancer. We can put you in touch with the physicians and the support network you need.

To request an appointment with an MD Anderson certified physician, call us today at 317-621-2727 or request an appointment online.