Overview

Lung Cancer Care in the Northwest Suburbs

It can take years to develop signs or symptoms of lung cancer, and those signals may not show until the disease has progressed. You should remember to report any rare physical feelings to your doctor. Often, as the cancers advance, they on occasion produce some symptoms, in either the chest or elsewhere in the body.

Symptoms in the chest could be:

  • Coughing up phlegm or mucus, especially if it is tinged or tinted with blood
  • Persistent lung problems, like pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Changes in the voice or being hoarse
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • A change in color or volume of sputum
  • Abnormal, high-pitched sound with every breath. Often caused by blockage in the throat.
  • Pain in the chest, shoulder or back but not related to pain from coughing.

When lung cancer has spread, some may feel symptoms in other places in the body. Common places include adrenal glands, bones, brain, liver and lymph nodes.

Symptoms appearing elsewhere could include:

  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  • Blood clots
  • Neck or facial swelling
  • Headaches, bone or joint pain
  • Bone fractures unrelated to accidental injury
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Neurological symptoms, like an unsteady gait or memory loss

  • Risk Factors

    • Smoking
    • Secondhand smoke
    • Radon
    • Asbestos
    • Air pollution
    • Radiation therapy to the lungs
    • Arsenic in drinking water—For most Americans who are on public water systems, the drinking water is not a major source of arsenic.
    • Personal or family history of lung cancer

    Lung Cancer Detection

    Northwestern Medicine offers a low-dose CT lung screening. This simple, non-invasive screening can effectively check the health of your lungs by providing detailed pictures and revealing any abnormalities, even those as small as a pea.

    This life-saving screening is recommended for men and women ages 55 to 77 years who have a 30-pack year history. This is the equivalent of smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years.

    To schedule your CT lung screening, call 815.334.5566.