The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that in 2014 there were 224,210 new cases of lung cancer and 159,480 deaths, accounting for about 27% of all cancer deaths. Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer death in American men and women. Although tobacco smoking is the main preventable cause of lung cancer, the incidence of lung cancer in non-smoking individuals is on the rise.
In recognizing November as “National Lung Cancer Awareness Month,” experts at InterCommunity Cancer Centers and Institute (ICCC/ICCI) are continuing to educate patients about risk factors, preventative tips and advanced radiation treatments to help fight this deadly disease.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF
The ACS’ website identifies numerous risk factors, signs and symptoms and important prevention tips regarding lung cancer and they include the following:
• Constant chest pain
• Coughing up blood
• Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
• Chronic problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
• Swelling of the neck and face
“Doctors divide lung cancer into two types: non-small cell and small cell, based upon how they look under the microscope. This division is important because the behavior of small cell and non-small cell lung cancers are different. In general, non-small cell tumors tend to grow a bit more slowly than small cell tumors, but both can spread throughout the body, and small cell cancer in particular tends to spread to the brain. Both types are generally treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” said Alison Calkins, M.D., radiation oncologist at ICCC/ICCI.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF
You can reduce your risk of developing lung cancer in several ways including:
• Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit now.
• Avoid secondhand smoke. There is no risk-free
level of secondhand smoke exposure.
• Have your home tested for radon and take
corrective actions if high levels are found.
• Avoid unnecessary medical tests that involve
X-ray images of the chest.
• Follow health and safety guidelines in the
“The U.S. Preventative Task Force’s report provides us evidence-based medicine to support our longstanding belief that early detection is paramount in detecting lung cancer at its earliest stage and it is absolutely critical for ‘high-risk’ patients to remain vigilant about their screenings,” said Hal M. Jacobson, M.D., Medical Director of ICCC/ICCI. “Early detection is paramount to beating lung cancer and it is absolutely critical for ‘high-risk’ patients to remain vigilant about their lifestyle choices and screenings.”
FIGHTING LUNG CANCER WITH
ADVANCED RADIATION THERAPIES
Alone or in combination with other treatment modalities, external beam radiation therapy is used to treat more than half of the patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. The most state-of-the-art external beam radiation therapy techniques utilizing Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) are available right here in your own backyard at ICCC.
IMRT is arguably the most widely used radiation therapy for prostate cancer. It provides highly sophisticated radiotherapy utilizing computer-controlled x-ray linear accelerators to deliver radiation doses with high precision. IMRT is used in combination with IGRT which localizes the treatment tumor site daily before each treatment for pinpoint accuracy and effectiveness.
Because of the precision involved with IMRT and IGRT, ICCC radiation oncologists can use higher doses of radiation to more effectively treat the cancer. These external radiation therapy treatments are performed on an outpatient basis and provide excellent survival rates. They are non-invasive and relatively painless treatments that help maintain a patient’s high quality of life during the treatment process.
The type of treatment a patient receives depends on several different factors: the type of lung cancer, the size, location, extent of the tumor and general health of the patient. “Finding the right type of treatment is imperative when dealing with any cancer,” said Maureen Holasek, M.D., radiation oncologist at ICCC. “With each type of advanced treatment, there is the possibility that the patient will experience minimal side effects so we educate our patients and encourage them to educate themselves about treatments so that they can make an informed decision about what option will be best for them.”
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THE EXPERIENCE OF INTERCOMMUNITY CANCER CENTERS AND INSTITUTE
ICCC has 25 years of cancer-fighting experience having treated over 10,000 patients. They are dedicated to empowering patients to have the confidence they need to change their lives. Radiation Oncologists Drs. Hal Jacobson, Herman Flink, Maureen Holasek and Alison Calkins bring exceptional expertise in treating breast, lung, prostate, gynecologic, skin and other cancers.
As part of a larger, nation-wide oncology group of physicians and specialists under Vantage Oncology, the oncologists at ICCC have access to aggregated clinical information and best practices from the treatment of more than 1,000 patients per day, enabling them to develop highly-effective and peer-collaborated treatments. This gives many of the centers that work with Vantage, including ICCC, ICCC, the ability to offer university-quality treatment services in smaller and more rural areas. It gives local communities exceptional services closer to home and in a non-hospital setting. To learn more, please visit www.ICCCVantage.com.
ABOUT VANTAGE ONCOLOGY
Vantage Oncology offers a complete development, implementation and management solution for radiation oncology practices. It provides ownership opportunities that empower physicians to maintain control of their practice while leveraging the strength of the company’s network and clinical resources. A multi-disciplinary team is committed to continuously raising the standards of cancer care. For more information, please visit www.VantageOncology.com.