Thoracic cancer starts in and affects the organs, glands, and other structures in your chest — the thoracic cavity. Types of thoracic cancer include:
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Thymus cancer
- Pleural cancer
Call (602) 406-8222 or use our Find a Doctor tool to locate an oncologist with expertise in treating thoracic cancer in Arizona. We are proud to be the only cancer care provider on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. at our Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. If more convenient, our Chandler Regional Medical Center offers cancer care in the Phoenix area as well.
What Causes Thoracic Cancer?
Doctors do not fully understand the cause of any cancer, including thoracic cancer. Risk factors for thoracic cancer vary by type, but family history and lifestyle factors can play a role in its development. You may have a greater chance of developing lung cancer if a family member has also had it. Smoking increases the risk of esophageal cancer and is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancers.
Thoracic Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of thoracic cancer depend on the tissue it affects, if it has spread to nearby structures, and the specific type of cancer. Thoracic cancer often has no symptoms in early stages.
In many cases, symptoms develop after the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage, which can make it harder to treat. When symptoms appear, they may include:
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- “Smoker’s cough” or changes in a chronic cough
- Developing a new cough that gets worse with time or doesn’t go away
- Coughing up blood or bloody or rust-colored mucus
- Chest pain that worsens with deep laughing, coughing, or breathing
- Vomiting, indigestion, or heartburn
- Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss
It’s important to remember that these symptoms do not always mean you have cancer.
Thoracic Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health
Dignity Health offers comprehensive cancer treatment from a team of board certified medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, and cancer care specialists. We treat the whole person rather than just the disease, so your care team also includes dietitians, pharmacists, social workers, and spiritual care experts. Support groups, counseling, and pain management options are available to all of our patients.
Treatment depends on the specific thoracic cancer. However, surgery is a common treatment for most thoracic cancers. Your doctor may also recommend:
Dignity Health offers screenings and treatmentfor thoracic cancer in Arizona.