Are You at Risk for Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a serious and sometimes fearsome opponent that medical science continues to battle with new tools that may include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and other cutting-edge treatments. With these advances, we’re increasing your odds of overcoming the challenges of lung cancer. Early diagnosis, however, is often vital to a successful treatment outcome.

Known community wide as the region’s top lung doctor, Benjamin A. Laracuente, MD, FCCP is an expert pulmonologist who serves the residents of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and the greater Pittsburgh metro area from Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Laracuente and his skilled team provide state-of-the-art diagnostic studies and outstanding care for acute and chronic pulmonary conditions such as bronchitis, COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and lung cancer.

Read more from Dr. Laracuente about your risks of developing lung cancer, the symptoms to watch for, and how he uses advanced technology to identify lung disorders such as cancer.

I don’t smoke, so I don’t have to worry about lung cancer, right?

Smoking is indeed a leading cause of lung cancer, which affects about one in 16 people annually. However, about 30,000 Americans who have never smoked get lung cancer every year, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Other factors that increase your risk of developing lung cancer include:

For those who do smoke, your risk of developing lung cancer increases according to the length of time you’ve smoked, and how much you smoke. The good news? Your risk decreases significantly when you quit, no matter how long you’ve smoked.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Symptoms of lung cancer may include:

Unfortunately, the early signs or symptoms of lung cancer are often very subtle and sometimes nonexistent until the disease has progressed beyond its earliest stages.

You can help mitigate the asymptomatic characteristics of lung cancer, however, by being aware of your risk factors and sharing those concerns with our team. Here at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice, we’re always happy to help individuals who are concerned about their cancer risks.

How do you diagnose lung cancer?

We have many tools available for diagnosing lung cancer, starting with imaging studies of the lungs and surrounding areas, such as X-rays and CT scans. If a suspicious lesion or mass is noted, the next step would likely include a tissue sampling (biopsy) of the abnormality.

At Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice, we often perform the biopsy via a minimally invasive procedure called endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscopy.

What happens during EBUS bronchoscopy?

EBUS bronchoscopy is an in-office procedure that uses sophisticated ultrasound technology to provide an inner view of your lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without the need for surgery. 

During EBUS, we pass a small scope equipped with a camera and tiny instruments used to obtain the biopsy through your mouth into the windpipe. EBUS gives us very detailed and highly accurate information about the targeted abnormality. 

You receive sedation to help keep you relaxed throughout the procedure and, in some cases, may recommend general anesthesia so that you sleep through the study.

For a comprehensive evaluation regarding your risks of lung cancer and overall lung function, schedule a visit with top-rated specialist Dr. Laracuente at Tristate Pulmonary Medical Practice today.

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