Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, and at Inspira, we offer smoking cessation services at our Quit Center. We also have a Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence at our convenient imaging locations.


Like many other types of cancer, lung cancer doesn’t always present symptoms early on, and it is only after the tumor grows that the disease becomes physically apparent. Persistent coughing is typically the first sign, and other symptoms may include:
  • Constant chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Bloody or rust-colored sputum
  • Hoarseness

In addition, a tumor that presses on large blood vessels near the lung can cause swelling of the neck and face. A tumor that presses on certain nerves near the lung can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm or hand.

None of these symptoms is a sure sign of lung cancer—only your doctor can tell whether your symptoms are caused by cancer or by another problem. Consult your Inspira physician for a diagnosis if symptoms develop. 


Current or former smokers are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer, and may be referred for screening. People who have been exposed to radon or other known carcinogens may also face a risk for the disease. Our doctors screen for lung cancer using spiral CT scan technology.

Inspira offers a screening program that helps patients detect lung cancer earlier and increase their chance of surviving. Our program follows criteria established by the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial, which found that screening for lung cancer using low-dose CT scans can lower the chance of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent. Inspira offers low-dose CT screening for lung cancer at our imaging locations.


Depending on its type and stage, lung cancer may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy or other medications, radiation therapy, local treatments such as laser therapy, or a combination of treatment methods, including targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy. Inspira also offers Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) and Navigational Bronchoscopy, which are minimally invasive, highly effective technologies to diagnose lung cancer as well as treat smaller nodules.

Treatment for lung cancer at Inspira Health includes one or more of the following:
  • Surgery: Surgery is part of the treatment for early stage lung cancers. The type of surgery depends on the size and location of the tumor in the lung, the extent of the cancer, the general health of the patient and other factors.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may be used as a standalone treatment or with other treatments. Inspira’s capabilities include stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), a radiation technology that has been highly successful in treating small lung lesions even when patients are not candidates for surgery. 
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a form of medical oncology, which is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. 
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is the use of drugs that target specific parts of cancer cells or nearby cells that help them grow. So far in the treatment of lung cancer, these drugs have only been found to be useful for some non-small cell lung cancers. 

If you’d like more information about your or a loved one’s cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence designated by the Lung Cancer Alliance

Inspira offers convenient locations for low-dose CT scan screening. Men and women ages 55 to 77 who are current smokers or who previously smoked with a 30+ pack-year history should talk to their doctor about screening. 

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or a cancer free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Compassionate Support When You Need It Most

Navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be scary, and at times, completely overwhelming. That’s why we provide a built-in support system of cancer navigators, social workers, counselors, registered dieticians and behavioral health specialists so you don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.