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Lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women. Beginning as a growth of abnormal cells, the cancer grows to form a tumor, interfering with lung function. Lung cancer is treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Those who smoke cigarettes have an increased risk for lung cancer.

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Lung cancer treatment in Virginia

From diagnosis through treatment, we aim to help you beat lung cancer.

We understand the stress that can accompany a lung cancer diagnosis. The doctors in the HCA Virginia Health System are ready to face your condition head-on with exceptional care and compassion. We offer a range of treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Our lung cancer services

We provide comprehensive lung cancer care, including rehabilitation services and a variety of cancer support resources, all with the goal of improving your health and enhancing your quality of life.

Lung cancer signs and symptoms

Spotting the signs and symptoms of lung cancer early in its development is essential to ensuring you have the best possible outcome. Signs of lung cancer tend to not show up until the disease is in later stages, but early detection is still possible with screenings and diagnostic tests.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • A new, chronic cough or a cough that doesn't go away
  • Chest pain that is worse with deep breathing or coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained loss of appetite and/or weight loss

Lung cancer screening

The goal of lung cancer screening is to identify cancer in its earliest stages when it is more treatable and potentially even curable. Early lung cancer screening is often performed when a patient is not symptomatic but is considered to have a high risk of developing lung cancer.

Our lung cancer specialists use low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) scans to screen for lung cancer. These scans are similar to CT scans but use a lower dose of radiation to create the images of the lungs.

In addition, the Navigational Bronch/Lung Nodule Clinic at Henrico Doctors' Hospital uses advanced minimally invasive technology to evaluate lung nodules in the earliest stages.


Who should be screened for lung cancer?

  • 50-80 years old*
  • Those who have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history and are current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years

* Must be 50-77 for Medicare

Determining pack-year

20 Pack-Year Equivalent

  • 1 pack a day for 20 years
  • 2 packs a day for 10 years

Despite advances in screening, it cannot prevent all lung cancer-related deaths, and smoking cessation remains essential. For more information on lung cancer, visit Sarah Cannon’s Lung Cancer Symptoms, Screening, Stages.

  • For more information on lung cancer screening and risk factors, call askSARAH at (844) 482-4812 to speak to a nurse who is specially trained to help with your cancer questions or visit askSARAH.

Lung cancer diagnosis

Following your initial exam, our lung cancer specialists may recommend a number of tests to accurately determine the type and stage of your cancer. We use a wide range of advanced technologies and various medical imaging tests to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis.

Our diagnostic services include:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Esophageal ultrasound (EUS)
  • Image-guided needle biopsy and needle aspiration
  • LDCT scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Mediastinoscopy/mediastinotomy
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Thoracentesis
  • Thoracic imaging

In addition, LewisGale Medical Center offers robotic bronchoscopy for lung biopsies and detecting cancer at an earlier stage when it can be treated more effectively.


Lung cancer treatment

When lung cancer is detected early, our doctors have a better chance of successfully treating your cancer. Our experienced team of oncologists treat new and recurring lung, esophageal, pleural, mediastinal and chest wall tumors with advanced and minimally invasive technology and techniques.

Our treatments for lung cancer include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

Lung cancer support

We understand how stressful and scary a cancer diagnosis can be. That's why we are proud to offer lung cancer support services, including a lung cancer support group and a smoking cessation program.

The goal of our lung cancer support group is to provide you with educational resources and a cancer community to stand with you on your journey to recovery. The support group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

Our smoking cessation program

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. We recognize that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to quitting smoking, but when you are ready to ask for help, we are here for you.

Our smoking cessation program can help you stop smoking for good in just seven weeks. Participants in our program are six times more likely to be smoke-free one year after starting our program than those who try to quit on their own. Up to 60 percent of participants report being smoke-free by the end of the program when used in combination with smoking cessation medications.

Our American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking program is offered periodically throughout the year and includes ample group interaction, consisting of eight sessions over seven weeks. There is a one-time $60 fee due at registration on your first day.


At risk for lung cancer?

If you're unsure, let us help you understand whether you have any potential risk factors for developing lung cancer with our free assessment tool.

Take the lung cancer assessment 

Our pulmonary oncology team

Our multispecialty lung cancer program is comprised of a team of oncologists, radiation technicians, thoracic surgeons and pulmonary care specialists. This team will work together to create a comprehensive plan for your treatment, recovery and follow-up care tailored to your specific health needs.

We also offer an extended network of care resources, including :"

  • A lung cancer nurse navigator who assists with all aspects of your care
  • Dietitians who can address your changing nutritional needs as you recover from surgery and pursue follow-up treatments
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help you recover and rebuild strength
  • Support groups to guide you from diagnosis and treatment through recovery and beyond

Lung cancer nurse navigators

When you choose one of our hospitals for your lung cancer treatment, you will be paired with an experienced nurse navigator who will offer guidance and support to both you and your family. Your nurse navigator is specially trained to answer your questions, help you make informed care decisions and serve as a resource for your unique needs.


About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (804) 591-4152.

Sarah Cannon Institute at HCA Virginia Health System hospitals

We are proud to join the leading network of experts from Sarah Cannon to create a new era of collaborative cancer care. Working together, we are redefining cancer care, so you can fight the disease where you get your greatest strength: in your own community, with the support of friends and family nearby.

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The Healthy Living Blog

Read our blogs to learn about preventive care and ways you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

Lung cancer screenings can help find lung cancer early 

October 25, 2022
TriStar Health is encouraging eligible patients to reach out to their physician about lung cancer screenings.

Lung cancer screenings can help find lung cancer early 

October 25, 2022
TriStar Health is encouraging eligible patients to reach out to their physician about lung cancer screenings.

COVID-19 screening disruptions could lead to increased cancer 

June 09, 2021
Kristina Rua, Director of Navigation Operations HCA East Florida Division
As we moved forward and adapted our healthcare settings to reduce the risk of spreading infection, our facilities became the safest possible places to receive care. Unfortunately, the initial shock of the pandemic has left lingering effects with one of the most troublesome being a significate drop in cancer screening.

COVID-19 screening disruptions could lead to increased cancer 

June 09, 2021
Kristina Rua, Director of Navigation Operations HCA East Florida Division
As we moved forward and adapted our healthcare settings to reduce the risk of spreading infection, our facilities became the safest possible places to receive care. Unfortunately, the initial shock of the pandemic has left lingering effects with one of the most troublesome being a significate drop in cancer screening.