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Expert Treatment for Lung Cancer Symptoms in Northern California

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs and usually grows and spreads slowly. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. In the early stages, lung cancer typically doesn’t cause pain, discomfort, or other symptoms.

Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento’s expert team focuses on providing the best possible outcomes with multispecialty care for even the most complex cases of lung cancer. Mercy San Juan Medical Center was recently named a Lung Cancer Cancer of Excellence by the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. Our oncology teams provide world-class care for all lung cancer symptoms in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call the Mercy Cancer Center at (916) 556-3200 or the Lung Evaluation Clinic at (916) 536-3665. If you are over the age of 55 and are a current or former smoker, see if you are eligible for a free lung cancer screening at


Common Signs & Symptoms of Lung Cancer

If and when symptoms of lung cancer do develop, they may include:

  • Weakness
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hoarseness
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing up blood or bloody or rust-colored mucous
  • Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing or laughing
  • Changes in a chronic cough or “smoker’s cough”
  • A new cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse with time

If you have any of the symptoms above, speak with your doctor about a comprehensive lung assessment.


Diagnosing Lung Cancer at Dignity Health

At Dignity Health, we combine the latest diagnostic technology with expertise. Our goal is a precise and accurate diagnosis, so we can plan the most effective course of treatment. Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by conducting a thorough physical exam and asking you about your symptoms and medical history.

Diagnostic testing for lung cancer may include:

  • Thoracentesis to remove and examine fluid from around your lungs
  • Sputum cytology to look at a mucus sample under a microscope
  • Imaging exams, including chest X-ray, CT scan, and MRI
  • Bronchoscopy using a thin lighted tube to examine the inside of your airways
  • Biopsy to take a tissue sample from any observed lesions


The Latest Procedures for Diagnosing Lung Cancer

Mercy San Juan Medical Center is one of only two Sacramento-area hospitals to use advanced life-saving technology for early detection of lung disease. The superDimension® lung navigation system works much like the GPS in your car, allowing your surgeon to navigate a small catheter through your mouth or nose, down your windpipe (trachea), and into the deepest areas of your lungs.

In addition to superDimension®, our thoracic surgeons also use the SPiN Thoracic Navigation System to take tissue samples (biopsies) of solitary pulmonary nodules (a round or oval spot (lesion in the lung to potentially diagnose lung cancer before the disease advances.

Dignity Health doctors evaluate, diagnose, and treat all symptoms of lung cancer in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.