Lung Cancer Overview
WellStar Health System offers cutting-edge technology and premier programs to fight lung cancer, providing patients the best of care from diagnosis to supportive services. As part of the nationally-recognized WellStar Cancer Network, the lung cancer division works with innovations like:
- The CyberKnife, a highly advanced radiation alternative to surgery that provides new hope to patients with inoperable or complex tumors. WellStar was the first health system in the Southeast to obtain this technology.
- The STAT Thoracic Consultation Center - the only one of its kind in Georgia - that provides patients the opportunity to meet with their WellStar team of physicians in one day, at one appointment, in one place.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a treatment that allows for the radiation to be tailored to the size and placement of the tumor, while sparing healthy tissue.
- Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), a minimally invasive surgery which greatly reduces a patient's hospital stay, as well as post-operative complications.
- Clinical trials for every stage of lung cancer.
- Interventional pulmonology procedures including EBUS (Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound) to look through airway walls to assist in biopsy, superDimension®, an electromagnetic navigation system that allows the physician to locate a tumor far out in the lung for biopsy, as well as Rigid Bronchoscopy, laser ablation, PDT (Photodynamic Therapy for tumor ablation), and airway stents.
Nationally, researchers have made strides in recent years in the treatment of lung cancer, and there is reason to be optimistic that further research will yield more answers. Smoking accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancer cases.
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A nagging cough that persists for several weeks
- Weight loss despite good appetite
- Shortness of breath; recurring respiratory infections
- Pain in shoulder, neck or back that will not go away
- Coughing up blood.
It is important to note, however, that many lung cancers do not cause symptoms and are often found during the course of diagnosing another illness.
- Second-hand smoke.
- Asbestos exposure.
- Radon exposure.