November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. The majority of lung cancer patients have a history of smoking which is more than likely the cause of cancer. However, as many as 20% of people of lung cancer patients have never smoked or used other forms of tobacco.

Watch Stephen G. Chun, M.D. discuss important facts about lung cancer.

Most lung cancers do not show symptoms. When symptoms do appear, cancer has already spread making it very hard to cure.

These are a few of the common symptoms of lung cancer:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Pain

If you have any risk factors such as a history of smoking, your doctor can perform tests such as a CT scan.

Proton therapy for lung cancer 

For those patients who require radiation therapy, proton therapy has the advantage to treat lung cancer. At the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center, physicians are able to deliver powerful radiation dosages with optimal accuracy, sparing critical nearby structures such as the esophagus, heart and spinal cord.

MD Anderson was among the first proton therapy centers to treat lung cancer with protons and chemotherapy. MD Anderson physicians have extensive experience in caring for lung cancer patients and continue to make advances in treating the disease.