According to the American Cancer Society, around 228,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year. For those living in or around Toms River and Forked River, New Jersey, Jessica Taff, MD, of Coastal Hematology & Oncology Center offers comprehensive cancer care. Learn more about your diagnostic and treatment options during a consultation. Online scheduling is available, or you can call the office to check appointment availability.
Lung cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in one or both lungs begin to rapidly multiply. This creates growths called tumors that interfere with normal lung function.
Cancer originates with a mutation in a cell’s DNA, caused by environmental or genetic factors. Lung cancer begins with precancerous changes, then progresses into a series of different mutations that impede normal lung function.
If those abnormal cells break away from a tumor and travel to another part of your body, your cancer is considered metastatic.
Primary lung cancer begins in your lung tissue. Though it might eventually spread to other areas of the body in untreated, the initial abnormal cell development begins in one or both lungs.
Cancer that has spread to the lung but begins in a different area of your body and then travels to your lung tissue is a type of metastatic cancer. For example, if you have breast cancer and those abnormal cells spread to your lungs and develop into lung tumors, your cancer is classified as metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer. Although the cancer is in your lungs at that point, if you removed it and looked at it under a microscope, it would actually look like breast tissue and should be treated accordingly.
Most lung cancers are directly related to cigarette smoking. If you’re a smoker, the most powerful step you can take to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to find a smoking cessation program that works for you.
There are medications that can help you quit smoking. Online and in-person support groups can also be helpful. There is evidence to suggest that your lungs can create healthy new tissue even after years of smoking, so it’s never too late to quit.
You should also take steps to avoid secondhand smoke, which can also cause damage. Having your home tested for radon is also important, as this odorless gas is linked to several types of cancer. Finally, learn more about the list of known carcinogens, which are substances linked to the development of cancer and take steps to avoid carcinogens at home and at work.
It is important to note that lung cancer can also develop in patients who are nonsmokers. The developments in lung cancer treatment over the last several years have made this disease increasingly treatable, with the addition of immunotherapy and new chemotherapy medications.
If you or a loved one is in need of lung cancer diagnostics or treatment, come in for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Taff. Online booking makes it easy to find a time that fits your schedule, or you can always call during business hours to speak with a member of the administrative staff.