Fighting lung cancer

Lung cancer is the second-most-common diagnosed cancer in both men and women, according to the American Lung Association. Lung cancer accounts for about 28 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States, killing more than 150,000 people a year.

Today, patients with lung cancer have a better chance for survival thanks to improved detection at earlier stages, when the disease is easier to treat. In fact, if lung cancer is discovered in the early stages, one can expect a more than 50 percent cure rate.

While lung cancer is most often diagnosed in people who have nicotine addictions, not all lung cancer is caused from smoking. Radon exposure in homes is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and genetics can also play a role. The cause is never identified for some patients.

Learn more about lung cancer in our Cancer Library >>

How is lung cancer treated?

One or more therapies can be used to treat lung cancer. Your healthcare provider will decide what treatment(s) should be used depending upon the type of cancer, its size, where it is located in the lungs and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, treatments include:

Surgery: Physicians remove the tumor and any diseased portions of the lung. If the tumor is small and has not spread outside the lungs, surgery is most likely the best chance for a cure. Some tumors cannot be removed because of their size and location. And some patients may have other health problems that make surgery impossible. In those cases, other options may be offered.

Radiation therapy: High-dose X-rays kill cancer cells. Radiation is aimed at the tumor and kills the cancer cells only in that area of the lungs. Radiation can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor. It may also be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells left in the lungs.

Chemotherapy: Special drugs, either in pill form or as an intravenous (IV) injection, destroy cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used in more advanced stages of the disease to relieve symptoms.

Learn more about treatment options >>


Is lung cancer screening right for me?

Lung cancer screening means testing for cancer before symptoms occur. A test called low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) is one type of screening that can reduce lung cancer deaths through early detection. Results from the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) showed that older heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose CT scans had a 20 percent lower rate of death. The test, however, is not recommended for everyone and has risks as well as benefits. The American Lung Association recommends low-dose CT screening for people who meet the following NLST criteria:

  • current or former smoker, age 55 to 74
  • smoking history of at least 30 pack years (one pack a day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years, etc.)
  • no history of lung cancer

Chest X-rays are not recommended to screen for lung cancer.

Common lung cancer symptoms

While most lung cancers do not cause symptoms until they have spread, see your physician right away if you are bothered by any of these conditions:

  • blood in your spit
  • chest pain
  • hoarseness
  • persistent cough
  • recurring chest infections
  • shortness of breath or wheezing
  • weight loss or loss of appetite
Learn more about our cancer screening >>

Our experts can help

The physicians with Associated Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons, LLC are accepting new patients. For more information or to make an appointment, call (409) 899-4747. Our offices are conveniently located at 755 North 11th St., Suite P2240 in Beaumont.

Stephen L. LaMendola, MD
Medical staff member since 1990
Certified by American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Medical degree: Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago, Ill.
Internship/Residency: General Surgery, State University of New York
Residency/Fellowship: Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Terry W. Myrick, MD
Medical staff member since 1990
Medical degree: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Residency: General Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Residency: General Surgery, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio
Residency: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Michael T. Oszczakiewicz, MD (Dr. Oz)
Medical staff member since 1996
Certified by American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Medical degree: University of Texas at Houston
Internship/Residency: General Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
Fellowship: Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

Lung Cancer Screenings

Get the screenings you need

Baptist Beaumont Hospital’s SOMATOM Definition CT scanner is available for spiral CT lung scans. If you are at risk for lung cancer, speak with your physician to see if you are a candidate for a screening CT scan. He or she can call our Scheduling Department at (409) 212-7167.


» All Saints Episcopal Volunteers

Partners In Education Program with All Saint’s Episcopal School. Hospital employees donate their time and talents to educate students and faculty on healthy lifestyles.