Lung cancer kills more people in a year than colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. But the good news is that with new life-saving screening and treatment options, lung cancer death rates have been on the decline since 1990. Central Maine HealthCare is committed to reducing your odds of getting this disease.
About Lung Cancer
Lung cancer starts when lung cells begin to grow out of control. There are four main types of this cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the more common of the two. It grows more slowly and is less likely to spread. The other is small cell lung cancer (SCLC). It progresses quickly and is likely to spread beyond the lungs.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women, mostly attributed to smoking. What makes it especially dangerous is that lung cancer symptoms often don’t appear until the disease has reached advanced stages. Fortunately, new screenings can now catch the condition in its earliest and most treatable stages—saving many more lives.
The number one way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking for good. Smoking causes four out of five lung cancer deaths but if you quit, your odds of getting the disease begin to decline. Your doctor can help you decide which strategy for quitting will be best for you. And for additional support, you can call the Maine Tobacco Helpline at 1.800.207.1230.
Detection and Diagnosis
Lung cancer can usually be cured if it’s detected early. Unfortunately most lung cancers are not caught until they are advanced. At Central Maine Healthcare we’re fighting to change that. We offer low-dose computed tomography (also known as LDCT). It’s a fast, painless way to detect lung cancer when it’s still in an early stage.
If you’re over 55 and have a history of heavy smoking, don’t wait another day. Schedule your screening at a location near you.
Personalized Treatment Plans
More than 95% of suspicious areas found during screenings are benign. But if you are diagnosed with cancer, our Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center is ready to help you fight the disease. We can target tumors with image-guided radiation, which focuses on the tumor while sparing healthy tissue. And promising advances in immunotherapy are helping lung cancer patients live longer. Your cancer care team will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan using the best therapies for your specific cancer.
We’re committed to providing you all the education, tools and resources you and your loved ones need to manage a cancer diagnosis. You’ll find a full range of free or low-cost cancer support services—from education to rehabilitation, nutritional to spiritual counseling, support groups and more to meet your needs.