Lung cancer begins when cells in the lungs grow abnormally and form a lump, also called a tumor, mass, lesion or nodule. A lump can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A cancerous tumor is a collection of a large number of cancer cells that have the ability to spread to other parts of the body.
There are two major types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell
- Small cell
Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common. It arises from epithelial cells that line the airways and produce mucus. Non-small cell lung cancer usually spreads to different parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer (or oat cell cancer) begins in the nerve cells or hormone-producing cells of the lung. It accounts for about 20% of all lung cancer.
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program
The Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program offers a range of diagnostic procedures, advanced treatment options and personalized support services for people with suspected or diagnosed lung (thoracic) cancer.
Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan based on the stage of the lung cancer as well as their age and other health factors. Patients may obtain a second opinion outpatient consultation with a Fox Chase Cancer Center oncologist who meets with the patient and family at Virtua.
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program’s interdisciplinary care teams are staffed by oncology experts including board-certified, fellowship-trained thoracic surgical oncology specialists and medical oncologists. They have earned their fellowships from leading medical institutions such as New York University Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Oncology certified and advanced practice nurses provide education and support to patients and their families.
Interdisciplinary clinical care teams may also include:
- Radiation oncologists
- Clinical oncology social workers
- Dietitians and physical therapists
- Oncology nurse navigators
Lung Cancer Treatment
The Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program offers the latest treatment options, including:
- Integrated treatment with chemotherapy and surgery to maximize results
- Targeted radiation systems – including intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy – for more precise treatment
- Minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgeries – including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) – for faster recovery
- A range of clinical trials through national and regional associations as well as those that originate at Fox Chase Cancer Center