Lung cancer care in Denver

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer, and the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. It is a diagnosis no one wants to hear, but the network of doctors within HealthONE Physician Group will work with you and your family to make the process as smooth as possible as we guide you through the diagnosis, staging and treatment of your lung cancer.

Our highly trained cancer care specialists, state-of-the-art facilities, lung nurse navigators, caring nurses and support staff are available for you to help ensure that you understand your diagnosis and the procedures or treatments that may be recommended, including the workup and treatment of a lung nodule or presumed cancer.

For more information about our diagnostic and treatment options for lung cancer, you can schedule an appointment with us.

Individualized lung cancer treatment

Our highest priority is to help each patient return to the best possible health after a lung cancer diagnosis. Each patient is different, reacts differently to treatment and takes a different recovery path.

We have a highly specialized team of thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to make sure you receive a treatment plan that is right for you. You will get the individualized care you need to help ensure the best possible outcome.

Lung cancer symptoms

Although smoking is the leading cause of most lung cancer in adults, non-smokers can also be diagnosed with lung cancer. People with a previous history of pulmonary diseases related to smoking are also at risk for lung cancer. Common symptoms include:

  • Change in a chronic cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • New cough that won't go away
  • Pain in your ribs or chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms, has a history of smoking or is concerned about the risk of lung cancer, contact us today.

Lung cancer screening

We offer low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans to help detect early-stage lung cancer in certain high-risk patients.

For patients with no lung cancer symptoms but who are at high risk because of their smoking history, lung cancer screening has been proven to help identify lung cancer and reduce the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent. The study is covered by Medicare and other major insurance providers.

You're a high-risk patient if you are 55 to 77 years old and meet one of the following conditions:

  • Current or former smoker who quit less than 15 years ago
  • Have no current symptoms of lung cancer but have a smoking history of at least 30 pack years (smoking one pack per day for 30 years, or two packs per day for 15 years)

Diagnosing lung cancer

Lung cancer is most commonly found on an imaging study, usually a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan done for another reason. We may perform additional scans such as a positron emission tomography (PET) scan to better evaluate any lesions we may have seen and determine if the cancer has spread outside of the chest.

These imaging studies are used to determine the stage of the lung cancer and provide our experienced team with the information needed to create the most effective cancer treatment plan. Occasionally, invasive procedures may be necessary to determine the stage, such as a biopsy or a bronchoscopy.

Lung cancer treatment

Our surgeons and staff are experts at treating the two main types of lung cancer:

Non-small cell lung cancer

Non-small cell lung cancer includes adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and carcinoid tumors, which are often treated with surgery alone if diagnosed at an early stage.

If the cancer is at Stage III, then a combination of treatments may be offered, such as chemotherapy followed by surgery or chemotherapy and radiation therapy alone.

Stage IV lung cancer is often treated with chemotherapy alone, but sometimes radiation is needed depending on the extent of disease and the symptoms.

Small cell lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer, either limited or extensive stage, is most often treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery does not play a role in most patients that are diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.

Clinical trials

To further ensure personal care targeted to your specific cancer, we have partnered with Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, and Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers to offer an expansive network of clinical trials for certain candidates. If you would like to learn if you are a candidate, please ask us during your visit.