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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is currently the second most prevalent cancer in men and women, after skin cancer. Sadly, lung cancer is also one of the most serious cancers, but the number of new lung cancer cases is continuing to decrease, in part because more and more people have stopped smoking. Plus, with advances in early detection and new treatments, lung cancer survival rates are rising each year.

Prevention    |    Screening    |    LungWatch    |    Treatment    |    Our Team

What is lung cancer?

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Lung cancers begin in the lungs and typically in the cells lining the bronchi and part of the lung such as bronchioles or alveoli.

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) which accounts for approximately 80-85%% of all lung cancers. Types of NSCLC include: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma.
  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for 10-15% of lung cancers and tends to grow and spread faster than NSCLC.

Statistically, lung cancer accounts for over 238,000 new cancer cases each year according to the American Cancer Society estimates.

For 2023, The American Cancer Society estimates:
new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed (117,550 in men and 120,790 in women).
deaths from lung cancer (67,160 in men and 59,910 in women).

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women in the United States (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common.


Not all lung cancers can be prevented. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk, such as changing the risk factors that you can control.

  • Avoid tobacco use and other people’s smoke
  • Avoid or limit exposure to cancer-causing agents like radon, asbestos, diesel exhaust, and inhaled chemicals such as arsenic, silica, and coal products.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Know your family history


Lung cancer can go undiagnosed for years without noticeable symptoms. Typically, people may not know they have lung cancer until symptoms appear, and then it is often too late. If detected early lung cancer can be treated more successfully, potentially prolonging life.

GO2 Foundation Designation

The Phoebe Cancer Center is a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence designated by the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

The nonprofit foundation’s designated centers ensure that screenings transform lung cancer care in the community by providing clear information on who is an eligible candidate and complying with comprehensive best practices by professional governing bodies such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center Designation

Phoebe has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.


LungWatch is a screening program at Phoebe for qualified participants that assesses risk factors to determine if an individual should be screened regularly for lung cancer. Patients must meet specific criteria and be referred for lung screening by a physician. Patients who have irregular lung screening results are typically referred to a pulmonologist to have further lung testing performed.

 Learn more...

Diagnosis and Treatment

Once a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer, they are assigned a Phoebe oncologist and a nurse navigator. Depending on the type and stage of the lung cancer, patients may be assigned to multiple oncologists (medical, radiation, surgical) to ensure delivery of the best combined therapies for each unique case. In some cases, lung cancer patients will undergo molecular testing which assists oncologists in determining whether targeted cancer therapy or immunotherapy is the best approach for a patient’s treatment.

Throughout a patient’s lung cancer journey, Phoebe Nurse Navigators serve as a primary contact for patients. These highly-skilled nurses works closely with physicians and care team members to ensure patients receive closely coordinated care and support. The Nurse Navigator assists patients with understanding their plan of care, managing side effects, refilling prescriptions, and facilitating communication between the patient’s care providers.

At Phoebe Cancer Center, our treatment program is Commission on Cancer certified, and uses a multi-disciplinary team approach to customized cancer care. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, your Phoebe Cancer team will work with you to develop a custom treatment plan, helping build goals, set expectations, and explain any potential side effects of available treatments. Typically, treating lung cancer includes one or more treatment modalities, including.

Treatment options include:

Medical Treatment - Centering on the delivery of oral or intravenous medicines:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Palliative procedures

Surgical Treatment - Focusing on the physical removal of cancerous or precancerous cells:

  • Thoracic surgery

Radiation Therapy Treatment - Treatments that use energy to shrink or eliminate cancer cells and masses:

  • Radio Frequency Ablation for NSCLC

Lung Cancer Support Group

Sometimes, we just need to be with a group of people who truly understand the journey.

The Lung Cancer Support Group generally meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month.

Please call 229-312-5440 to confirm this month’s schedule or to get more information about our cancer support groups.

Our Lung Cancer Care Team

At Phoebe Cancer Center, we embrace a full team approach to cancer care, which means providing a highly collaborative effort to deliver comprehensive cancer care to our cancer patients. This multidisciplinary approach engages a range of providers across our care community, to ensure we look at every angle for each patients’ unique case.

The current multidisciplinary treatment team for lung cancer includes a network of pathologists as well as the following disciplines:

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Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Available at Phoebe

Phoebe Cancer Center works in cooperation with a number of organizations to give access to clinical trails to our qualified patients. Click below to learn more.