Lung cancer care in Nashville, Tennessee

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. That is why TriStar Health hospitals partner with Sarah Cannon to offer specialized experts and resources for those fighting, or at risk for, lung cancer.

Our lung cancer team in Middle Tennessee include pulmonologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons. All are specially trained to care for lungs and other parts of the respiratory system.

To learn more about our lung cancer care services, please call askSARAH at (615) 514-2401.

Types of lung cancer

Lung cancer is categorized into two types:

  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC): Strongly related to smoking, SCLC comprises approximately 10 to 15 percent of lung cancers. As the most aggressive and fastest growing type of cancer, SCLC quickly spreads to many sites within the body. SCLC is often only discovered after it has spread extensively.
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): This type of cancer is the most common and accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancer cases. NSCLC has three main types, which are determined by the type of cells found in the tumor. They include:
    • Adenocarcinomas
    • Large cell carcinomas
    • Squamous cell carcinomas

Signs you may have lung cancer

Lung cancer symptoms vary and often do not appear until the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Signs and symptoms of lung cancer that may be present include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Bone pain
  • Headache
  • A cough that does not go away

Many of these symptoms can be easy to disregard, which further emphasizes the importance of screening for early detection. To see if you are at risk, talk to your primary care doctor or call askSARAH at (615) 514-2401.

Lung cancer screenings

As part of our comprehensive cancer care, we offer noninvasive, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screenings for patients who may be at risk. The screening is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Available through our family of hospitals, LDCT is a scan designed to catch cancer its early stages. After your scan, your report will be sent to your primary care provider and a result letter will be mailed to you. If necessary, you may be referred for pulmonary care. In that case, a lung nodule coordinator from TriStar Health will schedule an appointment for you with a pulmonologist.

LDCT is recommended for:

  • People between 55 and 77 years old
  • People who have smoked (on average) at least one pack a day for 30 years
  • People who smoke and are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms

Patients with symptoms of a lung condition at the time of the screening, such as a new cough or shortness of breath, are not eligible for LDCT screening.

Why is lung screening important?

Low-dose CT scans are an effective way to detect lung cancer in current and former smokers at high risk who have no symptoms of lung cancer. Those at high risk who are routinely screened are more likely to detect lung cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.

Lung cancer treatment

Depending on the type and stage of your lung cancer, your doctor may recommend various treatment options. At our hospitals, your care plan may include wedge resection surgery (a procedure that removes the tumor and a portion of the surrounding tissue), radiation therapy, chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

Lung cancer support group

Cancer support groups are designed to assist people with cancer and their loved ones with managing the difficulties and challenges cancer brings. There are also specific groups that are open to patients, survivors, friends and family members who have or are experiencing a lung cancer diagnosis.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (615) 514-2401 or chat online at askSARAHnow.