Lungs

Athens Vein & Thoracic Specialists is dedicated to providing personalized care for every type and stage of lung cancer and other cancers in the chest. Our goal is to give patients exceptional outcomes while focusing on quality of life and optimum lung function. Our lung treatments involve a multi-therapy approach and are highly individualized to each patient’s diagnosis.

We make treatment decisions based on which type of lung cancer you have. The two general types of lung cancer include non-small cell and small cell.

About 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers. This type of cancer is assigned a stage from 1 to 4 in order of severity.

  • Stage 1 – The cancer is confined to the lung.
  • Stages 2 and 3 – The cancer is confined to the lung and possibly the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4 – The cancer has spread outside of the lung to other parts of the body.

TREATMENT

Surgery is the preferred treatment for patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer surgery can involve removing a portion of the lung or the entire lung. Procedures to remove lung cancer include:

  • Wedge resection to remove a small section of lung that contains the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue
  • Segmental resection to remove a larger portion of lung, but not an entire lobe
  • Lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung
  • Pneumonectomy to remove an entire lung

Robotic or thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) are less invasive types of surgery that is used when possible for the treatment of early stage non-small stage cancer. Recovery from this type of surgery is usually quicker than with traditional surgery.

For more details: Lung Cancer and Thoracic Surgery

SYMPTOMS

Lung cancer symptoms may include:

  • Chronic, hacking, raspy coughing, sometimes with blood-streaked mucus
  • A new cough that doesn’t go away or changes in a chronic cough (smokers cough)
  • Recurring respiratory infections, including bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Increasing shortness of breath, wheezing, persistent chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Fatigue, weakness, loss of weight and appetite, intermittent fever, severe headaches, and body pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

In its early stages, lung cancer normally has no symptoms.