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Patient speaks to lung cancer doctor at Beaumont

About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a condition that consists of uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both of an individual's lungs. Abnormal cells found reproduce rapidly and never develop into normal tissue. Lumps of cancer cells eventually occur as tumors and begin to disrupt the normal function of the lungs.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In fact, it kills more Americans than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. For men, the average lifetime chance of developing lung cancer is 1 in 13, but for smokers the risk is even higher.

The coordinated care offered by Beaumont’s experts in radiation oncology, medical and surgical oncology, is constantly updated as research reveals new approaches to therapy.


There are two major types of lung cancer – non-small cell and small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common than small cell lung cancer.

Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms when it first develops, but they often become present after the tumor begins growing. A cough is the most common symptom. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fever for unknown reason
  • Bloody or rust colored sputum
  • Recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face caused by a tumor that presses on large blood vessels near the lung
  • Pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand caused by a tumor that presses on certain nerves near the lung

Lung Cancer Resources

Risk Factors
Risk Factors