Lung Cancer

lungsThe lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Each lung has sections called lobes. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.

The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. The types are based on the way the cells look under a microscope. Non-small cell lung cancer is much more common than small cell lung cancer. Mesothelioma is cancer in the tissue that lines the chest cavity and covers the lungs.

At Huntsman Cancer Institute, cancers of the lung and chest cavity are treated by a team of specialists, including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and other professionals. Learn more about our Lung Cancer Program.

How Can I Lower My Risk of Lung Cancer?
Education and Support

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How Can I Lower My Risk of Lung Cancer?

  • Stop using tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. and the number of deaths from lung cancer in women is increasing. Harmful substances in smoke damage lung cells. That's why smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars can cause lung cancer and why secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmokers. The more a person is exposed to smoke, the greater the risk of lung cancer. Learn more about quitting smoking and tobacco use.
  • Learn about radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It forms in soil and rocks. People who work in mines may be exposed to radon. In some parts of the country (including Utah), radon is found in houses. Radon damages lung cells, and people exposed to radon over long periods of time are at increased risk of lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer from radon is even higher for smokers. Radon test kits are available for a low cost at It includes supplies to do a 48-hour test for the gas as well as the cost of having it processed at a lab and receiving test results. Those without web access can call 1-800-324-5928. Learn more about radon from HCI's Dr. Wallace Akerley on The Scope radio.
  • Avoid exposure to asbestos and other substances. People who have certain jobs (such as those who work in the construction and chemical industries) have an increased risk of lung cancer. Exposure to asbestos, arsenic, chromium, nickel, soot, tar, and other substances can cause lung cancer. The risk is highest for those with years of exposure. The risk of lung cancer from these substances is even higher for smokers.


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Education and Support

When you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, employment, or how to continue normal daily activities.

There are several places you can go for support:

  • Your health care team can answer your questions and talk to you about your concerns. They can help you with any side effects and keep you informed of all your treatments, test results, and future doctor visits.
  • The G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center has hundreds of free brochures and more than 3,000 books, DVDs, and CDs available for checkout. You can browse the library, perform Internet research, or talk with a cancer information specialist.
  • Our Patient and Family Support Services offer emotional support and resources for coping with cancer and its impact on daily life to HCI patients and their families.
  • The Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness and Integrative Health Center offers many programs to increase the quality of life and well-being of HCI patients and their families.


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For more information about lung cancer visit the National Cancer Institute
This page last updated March 2016

Cáncer de pulmón se forma en los tejidos del pulmón, por lo general, en las células que recubren las vías respiratorias. Los dos tipos más importantes de cáncer de pulmón son el cáncer de pulmón de células pequeñas y el cáncer de pulmón de células no pequeñas. Estos tipos de cáncer se diagnostican con base en el aspecto que tengan las células bajo un microscopio.

Cómo puedo reducir mi riesgo de cáncer de pulmón?
Educación y apoyo
Lung Cancer Program

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Cómo puedo reducir mi riesgo de cáncer de pulmón?

  • Dejar de fumar. Fumar cigarrillos, pipas o cigarros es la causa más común del cáncer de pulmón. Cuanto más temprano una persona empieza a fumar, cuanto más a menudo fuma y cuantos más años fuma una persona, mayor es el riesgo de cáncer de pulmón. Si una persona deja de fumar, el riesgo disminuye con los años. Aprende como dejar de fumar.
  • Aprende sobre radón. Radón es un gas radiactivo que emana del uranio, una sustancia que se encuentra en el suelo y la roca. Inhalar demasiado radón puede dañar las células de los pulmones y conducir al cáncer de pulmón. Exposición al radón en el hogar o el lugar de trabajo es un factor de riesgo para el cáncer de pulmón.
  • Evite exposición al amianto, el cromo, el níquel, el arsénico, el hollín o el alquitrán en el lugar de trabajo. 


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Educación y apoyo

El Centro de Información del Cáncer es su lugar adecuado para obtener información gratuita sobre el cáncer. Estamos ubicados en el sexto piso del Hospital del Cáncer Huntsman.

El Centro de Información del Cáncer ofrece tres formas de obtener información sobre el cáncer:

  • Llame sin costo a 1-888-424-2100 – oprima “2” para Español
  • Visite nuestra biblioteca en el sexto piso del Hospital del Cáncer Huntsman
  • Envíe un correo electrónico a

Vea estos recursos adicionales:


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Adaptado del Instituto Nacional del Cáncer PDQ® base de datos integral

*If you are interested in a trial that is currently marked *Not Open, please contact the Patient Education team at 1-888-424-2100 or for other trial options. Enrollment is updated daily.

Forte Research Systems in partnership with Huntsman Cancer Institute

Wallace L. Akerley, M.D.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Lung Cancer, Medical Oncology, Metastatic Disease, Oncology

Sikandar A. Ansari, M.D.

Specialties: Lung Cancer, Pulmonary

Jonathan P. Boltax, M.D.

Specialties: Amyloidosis, Critical Care, Lung Cancer, Pulmonary

Anna Chalmers, M.D.

Farmington Health Center (801) 213-6360
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0100

Specialties: Lung Cancer, Oncology, Sarcoma

Leif Jensen, M.D., M.P.H.

Specialties: Cardiac Imaging, Computed Tomography - CT, Lung Cancer, Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI, Pulmonary Hypertension, Radiology, Thoracic Imaging, X-Ray

Kristine E. Kokeny, M.D.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 581-2396
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4320

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Genitourinary Cancers, Lung Cancer, Radiation Oncology

Ryan G. O'Hara, M.D.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 581-2967
University Hospital (801) 581-2967

Specialties: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, Interventional Radiology, Kidney Cancer, Liver Biopsies, Liver Cancer, Liver Disease, Liver Transplant, Lung Cancer

Shiven B. Patel, M.D., M.B.A.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266
Veterans Administration Medical Center (801) 582-1565

Specialties: Hematology/BMT, Lung Cancer, Medical Oncology

Chakravarthy B. Reddy, M.D.

University Hospital (801) 581-7806

Specialties: Critical Care, General Pulmonary, Lung Cancer, Pulmonary

Joyce D. Schroeder, M.D.

University Hospital (801) 581-8699

Specialties: Cardiac Imaging, Lung Cancer, Radiology, Thoracic Imaging

Dennis C. Shrieve, M.D., Ph.D.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 581-2396

Specialties: Brain Tumors, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Genitourinary Cancers, Lung Cancer, Pediatric Radiation Therapy, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Oncology, Soft Tissue Sarcomas

HCI Resources

Make An Appointment

kim mcaffee neuro oncology-thoracicLung Cancer Program
Care coordinator: Kim McAffee
Phone: 801-587-4470

Did You Know?

  • The right lung has three parts (called lobes), while the left lung is smaller and has two lobes.
  • Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. If you or a loved one wants to quit smoking, see our booklet How to Help Someone You Love Stop Using Tobacco.
  • Exposure to high amounts of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer. Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. Radon detection kits are available at most home goods stores.
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