Comprehensive lung cancer care in Wichita
Wesley Healthcare aims to increase the early detection of lung cancer through innovative programs and lung cancer screenings. If lung cancer is detected, you can be assured that you will receive comprehensive cancer care and thorough follow-up evaluations at Wesley Healthcare.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in American men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. The high mortality rate is because lung cancer is often most diagnosed in later stages, and early-stage lung cancer does not show any symptoms.
For more information about our lung cancer care, please call (316) 962-3627.
Types of lung cancer
There are two types of lung cancer:
- Non-small cell lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer and accounts for about 85 percent of lung cancers. There are various types of non-small cell tumors, including adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large-cell carcinoma.
- Small cell lung cancer: Small cell lung cancer begins in the nerve cells or the hormone-producing cells in the lung. Small cell lung cancer is more likely to be linked to smoking than non-small cell lung cancer. It grows more rapidly and spreads easily to other parts of the body earlier than non-small cell lung cancer.
Lung cancer symptoms
The signs and symptoms of lung cancer can take years to develop and may not appear until the disease is advanced.
Symptoms of lung cancer in the chest include:
- Coughing, especially if it persists or becomes intense
- Pain in the chest, shoulder or back unrelated to pain from coughing
- A change in color or volume of sputum
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in the voice or being hoarse
- Harsh sounds with each breath (stridor)
- Recurrent lung problems, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Coughing up phlegm or mucus, especially if it is tinged with blood
- Coughing up blood
If the original lung cancer has spread, a person may feel symptoms in other places in the body. Common places for lung cancer to spread include other parts of the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, brain, liver and adrenal glands.
Symptoms of lung cancer that may occur elsewhere in the body include:
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
- Muscle wasting (also known as cachexia)
- Headaches, bone or joint pain
- Bone fractures not related to accidental injury
- Neurological symptoms, such as unsteady walking or memory loss
- Neck or facial swelling
- General weakness
- Blood clots
Lung cancer treatment
There are four cancer treatment options that our oncologists offer for lung cancer patients, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. The treatment options depend on the size and location of the tumor, the type of lung cancer, whether the cancer has spread and the person’s overall health.
Our multispecialty team will collaborate to determine the best course of treatment for you, and our nurse navigator will coordinate your care throughout your journey to recovery.
Lung cancer screening
Wesley offers lung cancer screenings with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).
It is common for a low-dose CT lung screening to show small, abnormal nodules in the lungs, especially in current or former smokers. A lung nodule is a spot on the lung that can be seen on an X-ray or CT scan. This overgrowth of tissue is either a benign (non-cancerous) tumor or an early stage of lung cancer. Many nodules cause no symptoms at all, which is why many are found accidentally on CT scans or X-rays.
About one in four screening tests will show something abnormal in the lungs or nearby areas that might be cancer.
LDCT exposes people to a small amount of radiation. The unit for measuring radiation dose is called a millisievert. An LDCT scan radiation dose is 1.5 millisievert, which is equal to a person’s natural exposure every six months.
Screening with LDCT will not find all lung cancers, not all of the cancers that are found will be found early, and not all nodules detected will be cancerous. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of lung screening to see if the procedure is right for you.
Candidates for a lung cancer screening
To be eligible for a lung cancer screening, you must:
- Be 55 to 77 years old
- Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer present, such as a cough that does not go away, chest pain with deep breathing, hoarseness, weight loss, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing or repeated lung infections
- Currently smoke or quit smoking within the last 15 years
- Have a smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack-year = smoking one pack per day for one year)
- Annual adherence is vital to promote early diagnosis and prevention
Call our Wesley oncology nurse navigator at (316) 962-LUNG (5864) or your primary care physician to determine your eligibility for the screening. If you are eligible for the screening, the nurse navigator will contact your primary care physician for the order. After the screening, the nurse navigator will send your results to the referring physician, as well as coordinate any follow-up care, if necessary.
The screening may be covered by major insurance plans, but please check with your insurance provider regarding coverage. If not covered by insurance, the screening is $249.
Lung cancer screening locations
Patients may receive a lung cancer screening at the following Wesley Healthcare locations:
- Wesley Medical Center, 550 N. Hillside, Wichita, KS 67215
- Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, 2610 N. Woodlawn Blvd., Wichita, KS 67212
- Wesley West ER & Diagnostic Center, 8714 W. 13th St. N., Wichita, KS 67212
- Wesley Derby ER, 2648 N. Rock Road, Derby, KS 67037
Incidental Lung Nodule Program
Wesley knows that finding lung cancer at an early stage can make all the difference for a patient’s outlook. To help with early detection, any patient that visits one of our Wesley Healthcare emergency rooms and has a CT scan as part of their care will have their scan examined for lung nodules.
If a lung nodule is detected, you will be referred to our lung nurse navigator. Your primary care physician will receive a CT scan report with the recommended follow-up care. The recommendations are based on the 2017 Fleischner Society guidelines for incidental pulmonary nodules.
Lung cancer navigator
Chelsea Simpson, RN, BSN, OCN
Chelsea is a lung nurse navigator who oversees Wesley’s lung cancer screening and incidental lung nodule navigation programs. Prior to her navigator role, Chelsea worked as an assistant nurse manager where she oversaw and provided preoperative and postoperative care to cardiac and thoracic surgery patients.
She has a wide range of medical-surgical experience in multiple specialties including oncology, urology, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and hematology. To refer a patient or for more information about lung navigation services, please call (316) 962-2007.