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About Lung Cancer

Facts About Lung Cancer

  • According to the American Cancer Society, this year nearly 175,000 Americans will learn they have lung cancer.
  • The one-year survival rate for lung cancer has increased from 34% in 1975 to 42% in 1998.

Risk Factors for Lung Cancer

Smoking greatly increases your chances of developing lung cancer.

  • Other risk factors include exposure to substances like second-hand smoke, arsenic, some organic chemicals, radon, asbestos, air pollution and tuberculosis.

Quitting Smoking

If you quit smoking, the health benefits begin immediately.

  • For patients with lung cancer, quitting smoking makes treatment more effective.
  • Quitting smoking also reduces the risks of infections, such as pneumonia, improves breathing and reduces the risks associated with surgery.
  • To learn how to quit, talk to your doctor or visit

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Some signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Persistent cough, coughing blood or shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Recurring pneumonia or bronchitis.
  • Swelling of the neck and face.
  • Unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite or fatigue.

Diagnosing Lung Cancer

  • A chest X-ray will often reveal a tumor and where it is located. Other tests, such as CT scans and PET scans, can provide more detailed information.
  • To be certain if you have lung cancer, tissue from your lung will be removed and analyzed. This is called a biopsy.
  • The biopsy may be done during a bronchoscopy, a test where a flexible tube with a light is inserted into your nose or mouth to look at the airways of the lungs.
  • A biopsy may also be done with a needle inserted through the skin directly into the tumor under CT guidance. 

Types of Lung Cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are the two main types of lung cancer.

  • Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. It often grows and spreads less rapidly than small cell lung cancer. There are three types of non-small cell lung cancer — squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer is less common than non-small cell lung cancer. It grows more rapidly and is more likely to spread to other organs in the body.
  • Lung cancer usually begins in one lung. If left untreated, it can spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the chest, including the other lung. Lung cancer can also metastasize (or spread) throughout the body to the bones, brain, liver or other organs.


Find out more and speak with a specialist.

Call 718-765-2500 to make an appointment with a lung cancer specialist or request an appointment online today.