Advocate Christ Medical Center
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VATSEndobronchial UltrasoundFAQs

How prevalent is thoracic cancer?
What are the symptoms?
Can thoracic cancer be detected early?
What are the risk factors?
If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?
Who is part of the treatment team?

How prevalent is thoracic cancer?

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer for men and women in the U.S. The most frequent types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancers (adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma) and small cell lung cancer. Carcinoids and salivary gland carcinomas are less common types of lung cancer. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms that should be explored further include:

  • A cough that lasts for several weeks
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing up blood

Can thoracic cancer be detected early?

While there is no official screening exam for thoracic cancer in general, some forms of thoracic cancer can be detected early. For patients with Barrett's esophagus and other high-risk conditions of the esophagus, doctors may recommend regular screenings to insure that the condition does not progress into a form of esophageal cancer.

What are the risk factors?

Smoking tobacco is the single biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer. Other risk factors include:

  • Extended exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Exposure to radiation therapy (particularly in the chest region)
  • Exposure to asbestos, radon, soot, tar and other carcinogens. 
  • Family history

If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?

Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

Who is part of the treatment team?

The team at Advocate Christ Medical Center is staffed by a specially trained team of thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, oncologists and nurses, who are dedicated to caring for patients with thoracic cancer. You will remain under the care of your primary care physician while you are treated by the specialists at Christ Medical Center. To ensure that your physician is kept up-to-date, our team will provide ongoing reports on the progress you have made.

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