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Lung and Thoracic Cancer

Although lung and thoracic cancers are serious, early detection and timely treatment are key to beating or living with these diseases. Because every day counts, we help you review and understand your options quickly. Our compassionate care team provides in-depth expertise, and your care team will be with you every step of the way so you can begin treatment within days after cancer is detected.

You can trust us for education and advanced options for screening and detection, especially if you have a risk factor such as smoking. We’re also here for you with next steps after a cancer diagnosis.

Lung and thoracic cancer detection and diagnosis

Cancers of the thoracic (chest) region, include lung, esophageal, thymus and mesothelioma, with lung cancer being the most common. In the early stages, these cancers may not exhibit any symptoms. Because these diseases are challenging to treat, it’s important to visit your doctor for regular exams as part of your preventive healthcare and to share any concerns, no matter how small they seem. This is especially true if you have a history of smoking or other high-risk health or family history.

Your doctor will refer you to our advanced imaging services and may order additional tests to help with a diagnosis, such as an endoscopy procedure or a biopsy. A pathologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing disease, will look at your cell samples to identify the presence of cancer and determine the type of cancer you have.

Learn about types of lung cancer.

Get the facts on esophageal cancer, thymus cancer and malignant mesothelioma.

Innovative techniques and technologies

SCL Health partners with National Jewish Health, known worldwide for treating respiratory disorders, to deliver advanced treatment options. By leveraging the clinical trials and research done at National Jewish Health, we’re able to give you greater access to high-quality, innovative care and the latest research findings.

Our accredited cancer program offers:

  • Minimally invasive surgical technology – A surgical technique that uses smaller and more precise surgical incisions instead of one large opening. By reducing the trauma to the body, patients typically have quicker recovery times and less discomfort.
  • Radiation oncology targeting - Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), can be used to treat tumors in almost any part of the body, including the lungs.
  • Respiratory gating – This technology allows for continuous monitoring of tumor movement (for example, during breathing) so radiation treatment can be delivered at exactly the right moment. When the tumor moves outside of the target field, the radiation beam automatically turns off.

Treatment questions

Talking with healthcare providers about your lung cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. It helps to be prepared with questions to ask during your appointments.

Freedom from smoking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and is linked in the U.S. to about 90 percent of lung cancers. We work with patients and families to provide smoking cessation resources and support programs to sustain positive outcomes, not only for lung cancer survivors, but for everyone.

Learn more about smoking cessation classes and support near you.

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