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Preventing & Fighting Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Not all lung cancers have the same treatment strategies. At Dignity Health, an expert oncologist can determine the type of lung cancer you have and create a personalized plan for your care.

To receive personalized treatment for lung cancer in the Bay Area, Find a Doctor online today.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

The symptoms of lung cancer don’t begin until the disease is advanced. When symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Changes in a chronic cough or “smoker’s cough”
  • New cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse with time
  • Coughing up blood or bloody or rust-colored mucus
  • Chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, laughing, or coughing
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Hoarseness

Dignity Health doctors diagnose these symptoms at cancer centers in the Bay Area: 

Lung Cancer Causes

The main cause of lung cancer is smoking, resulting in 90 percent of cases. Your risk goes up the longer you smoke and the more you smoke — this includes cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. 

Additional lung cancer risk factors include:

  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to asbestos and other hazardous materials and chemicals
  • Exposure to radon gas

Your risk goes down if you quit smoking, no matter what age you are.

Lung Cancer Treatment at Dignity Health

Treatment for lung cancer depends on the stage and type of the disease. The goal of treatment is to stop the cancer from spreading and lessen pain and other symptoms. Your doctor may recommend one or more of these treatment options: 

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted therapy 

If you have lung cancer, you may want to ask your Dignity Health doctor about clinical trials that offer experimental treatments. We’ll help you find an option that meets your unique needs.

Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area offer guidance on lung cancer risk factors and care to treat all stages of lung cancer in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.