Hoag Lung Cancer Program

Diagnosed with lung cancer? With Hoag on your team, you can breathe a little easier when fighting this disease. Hoag performs more minimally-invasive, robotic-assisted surgeries than any other medical team in Orange County, for a lower risk of complications, shorter hospital stay, less pain and a faster recovery. When you are facing lung cancer, turn to Hoag to be by your side for comprehensive care.

Lung Cancer Care at Hoag

In 2022, U.S. News & World Report named less than 5% of hospitals they surveyed nationwide as "High Performing" in lung cancer surgery. There are many reasons why one of those hospitals is Hoag. Patient-centered care, award-winning services ranging from a lung cancer screening program for early detection to interventional diagnostics to robotic surgery to medical oncology to radiation oncology procedures. A world-class team of thoracic surgeons, interventionalists and oncologists, committed to making lung cancer a disease of the past. That's lung cancer care at Hoag.

Common Questions

What is lung cancer? 

Lung cancer is cancer that begins in the lungs, the main respiratory organs of the body. It can sometimes spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Today, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, according to the CDC.  

The are two main types of lung cancer: 

  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), includes two types that include many different types of cells. This type accounts for 15 percent of lung cancer cases. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope:
    • Small Cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer)
    • Combined small cell carcinoma
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of lung cancer cases. Subtypes of NSCLC include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma  

Several common cancers that begin elsewhere in the body can spread (or metastasize) to the lungs, including skin, breast, kidney and pancreas cancers.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer can be different for every patient, and vary based on how advanced the cancer is. Common symptoms can include:

  • Recurring bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • A constant or recurring cough
  • A raspy or hoarse speaking voice
  • Wheezing
  • Unexplained shortness of breath 

In more advanced lung cancer cases, symptoms may include: 

  • Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss 
  • Coughing up blood, or mucus that’s reddish brown
  • Recurring headaches that can be severe
  • Moderate to severe aches in the bones and chest
  • Pleural effusion, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the chest cavity around the cancerous lung

What are the risk factors for lung cancer?

There are several risk factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing lung cancers. These include: 

  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, with most cases of lung cancer being due to tobacco use.
  • Exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can seep into and accumulate in homes and workplaces over time
  • Exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was once used extensively in residential and commercial insulation and is still found in many older buildings. 
  • Previously having lung cancer
  • A family history of lung cancer
  • Previous radiation therapy to the chest

How can I reduce my risk of developing lung cancer? 

Ways to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer include:

  • Quit smoking and encourage smokers you might live with to not expose you and others to secondhand smoke. Hoag offers a smoking cessation class to support your efforts to quit smoking.
  • Avoiding radon, including having your home professionally checked. Almost every state in the U.S. has some level of radon. The top ten states with highest average radon concentrations are Alaska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, Kentucky, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Iowa. 
  • Avoiding asbestos, including wearing proper protective gear when working around known asbestos and having older buildings and homes checked for asbestos prior to beginning any demolition or renovation work.

Are there any screening programs at Hoag?

Early Lung Cancer Screening at Hoag

If you are concerned about lung cancer due to a long history of heavy smoking, Hoag’s Early Lung Cancer Screening Program might be right for you. This groundbreaking program catches lung cancer in high-risk patients earlier through annual, low-dose CT screenings for heavy smokers or former heavy smokers between 50-77 years of age. Some private insurance plans and Medicare pay for this vital preventative screening.

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

After discussing your symptoms and medical history with your doctor, you will likely be given a thorough medical exam, which may be followed by other tests.  At Hoag, these tests may include: 

  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy, in which the doctor uses a thin, tube-like instrument inserted through the nose or mouth to obtain samples of tissue or mucus from the lungs. 
  • Computerized Tomographic (CT) scanning
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning ​
  • Bone Scans, which involve injecting a radioactive material (radiotracer) into a vein so the tissues of the body will show up better on scans
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), a minimally-invasive procedure used to obtain lymph node tissue samples for biopsy without conventional surgery 
  • Ion Navigational Bronchoscopy, a recent innovation that extends the conventional bronchoscope, providing doctors with better views of cancerous lesions deep in the lungs 
  • CT guided lung biopsy
  • Mediastinoscopy
Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer. Now what do I do?

After diagnosis, your doctor will talk to you about your current symptoms, discuss treatment options and potentially refer you to a specialist for more tests or surgery. If you still smoke or use tobacco at the time of your diagnosis, quit immediately.

Hoag is here to provide support every step of the way for those diagnosed with lung cancer. That includes providing patients with Hoag’s unique Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Navigators — trained, clinical nurses who serve as a resource and guide for patients facing lung cancer, providing support at every phase. 

Click here to check out other resources Hoag provides specifically for lung cancer patients, including dedicated oncology social workers, smoking cessation help, counseling, dietary support, faith-based care and more. 

What are the treatment options for lung cancer?

Treatment options for lung cancer depend on many factors, including how advanced the cancer is when detected, your age and any other health issues you may have. The treatments Hoag recommends for  treatments for lung cancer vary from patient to patient, but may include:  

  • Surgery that may include removal of part or an entire lobe of lung and associated lymph nodes
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Immunotherapy
  • Genomic profiling and precision medicine 

Facing a lung cancer diagnosis is a terrifying experience, but with Hoag Family Cancer Institute in your corner, you’ve got the best chance of beating this disease. While five-year survival rates for lung cancer have been largely stagnant nationwide, Hoag’s commitment to research and the latest treatment options have improved survival rates for patients treated at Hoag at every stage of lung cancer. Click here to meet Hoag’s world-class Lung Cancer Team.

Services Offered

Integrated Cancer Support Services at Hoag 

At Hoag Family Cancer Institute, we’re committed to offering the best support services, resources and educational information to our patients and their families at every stage of their cancer journey. Hoag’s Integrated Cancer Support Services are open to everyone regardless of their prognosis, cancer stage or phase of recovery. 

Resources include: 

Find more information about Integrated Cancer Support Services at Hoag.

Are there any clinical trials for lung cancer?

Hoag is committed to leading the way in state-of-the-art technologies and advanced treatment options. Part of this commitment includes clinical research with the goal of helping patients live longer, healthier lives. Through carefully planned clinical trials, researchers evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases or conditions. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. View clinical trials for lung cancer here.

At Hoag, our clinical research team is committed to excellence in research and a continuing commitment to protect the interests and well-being of patients.  Contact us at 949-764-4577 to see if joining a clinical trial for lung cancer is right for you.

Survivorship Support at Hoag

At Hoag, we understand that a cancer diagnosis may cause you and your family to experience a variety of significant life changes. We are committed to providing you with support before, during and after treatment. Hoag’s survivorship resources help you navigate through the challenges of telling friends and family about your cancer, working while living with cancer, returning to “normal” after cancer and so much more. We strive to provide you with the resources needed to feel empowered in your everyday life.

Learn more about our Survivorship Support here.

Common Questions

What is lung cancer? 

Lung cancer is cancer that begins in the lungs, the main respiratory organs of the body. It can sometimes spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Today, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, according to the CDC.  

The are two main types of lung cancer: 

  • Small cell lung cancer (SCLC), includes two types that include many different types of cells. This type accounts for 15 percent of lung cancer cases. The cancer cells of each type grow and spread in different ways. The types of small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope:
    • Small Cell carcinoma (oat cell cancer)
    • Combined small cell carcinoma
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for about 85 percent of lung cancer cases. Subtypes of NSCLC include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma  

Several common cancers that begin elsewhere in the body can spread (or metastasize) to the lungs, including skin, breast, kidney and pancreas cancers.

What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

The symptoms of lung cancer can be different for every patient, and vary based on how advanced the cancer is. Common symptoms can include:

  • Recurring bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • A constant or recurring cough
  • A raspy or hoarse speaking voice
  • Wheezing
  • Unexplained shortness of breath 

In more advanced lung cancer cases, symptoms may include: 

  • Unexplained fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss 
  • Coughing up blood, or mucus that’s reddish brown
  • Recurring headaches that can be severe
  • Moderate to severe aches in the bones and chest
  • Pleural effusion, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the chest cavity around the cancerous lung

What are the risk factors for lung cancer?

There are several risk factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing lung cancers. These include: 

  • Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, with most cases of lung cancer being due to tobacco use.
  • Exposure to radon, a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can seep into and accumulate in homes and workplaces over time
  • Exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was once used extensively in residential and commercial insulation and is still found in many older buildings. 
  • Previously having lung cancer
  • A family history of lung cancer
  • Previous radiation therapy to the chest

How can I reduce my risk of developing lung cancer? 

Ways to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer include:

  • Quit smoking and encourage smokers you might live with to not expose you and others to secondhand smoke. Hoag offers a smoking cessation class to support your efforts to quit smoking.
  • Avoiding radon, including having your home professionally checked. Almost every state in the U.S. has some level of radon. The top ten states with highest average radon concentrations are Alaska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Washington, Kentucky, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Iowa. 
  • Avoiding asbestos, including wearing proper protective gear when working around known asbestos and having older buildings and homes checked for asbestos prior to beginning any demolition or renovation work.

Are there any screening programs at Hoag?

Early Lung Cancer Screening at Hoag

If you are concerned about lung cancer due to a long history of heavy smoking, Hoag’s Early Lung Cancer Screening Program might be right for you. This groundbreaking program catches lung cancer in high-risk patients earlier through annual, low-dose CT screenings for heavy smokers or former heavy smokers between 50-77 years of age. Some private insurance plans and Medicare pay for this vital preventative screening.

How is lung cancer diagnosed?

After discussing your symptoms and medical history with your doctor, you will likely be given a thorough medical exam, which may be followed by other tests.  At Hoag, these tests may include: 

  • Fiberoptic Bronchoscopy, in which the doctor uses a thin, tube-like instrument inserted through the nose or mouth to obtain samples of tissue or mucus from the lungs. 
  • Computerized Tomographic (CT) scanning
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning ​
  • Bone Scans, which involve injecting a radioactive material (radiotracer) into a vein so the tissues of the body will show up better on scans
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), a minimally-invasive procedure used to obtain lymph node tissue samples for biopsy without conventional surgery 
  • Ion Navigational Bronchoscopy, a recent innovation that extends the conventional bronchoscope, providing doctors with better views of cancerous lesions deep in the lungs 
  • CT guided lung biopsy
  • Mediastinoscopy

Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer. Now what do I do?

After diagnosis, your doctor will talk to you about your current symptoms, discuss treatment options and potentially refer you to a specialist for more tests or surgery. If you still smoke or use tobacco at the time of your diagnosis, quit immediately.

Hoag is here to provide support every step of the way for those diagnosed with lung cancer. That includes providing patients with Hoag’s unique Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Navigators — trained, clinical nurses who serve as a resource and guide for patients facing lung cancer, providing support at every phase. 

Click here to check out other resources Hoag provides specifically for lung cancer patients, including dedicated oncology social workers, smoking cessation help, counseling, dietary support, faith-based care and more. 

What are the treatment options for lung cancer?

Treatment options for lung cancer depend on many factors, including how advanced the cancer is when detected, your age and any other health issues you may have. The treatments Hoag recommends for  treatments for lung cancer vary from patient to patient, but may include:  

  • Surgery that may include removal of part or an entire lobe of lung and associated lymph nodes
  • Interventional pulmonology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Immunotherapy
  • Genomic profiling and precision medicine 

Facing a lung cancer diagnosis is a terrifying experience, but with Hoag Family Cancer Institute in your corner, you’ve got the best chance of beating this disease. While five-year survival rates for lung cancer have been largely stagnant nationwide, Hoag’s commitment to research and the latest treatment options have improved survival rates for patients treated at Hoag at every stage of lung cancer. Click here to meet Hoag’s world-class Lung Cancer Team.

Services Offered

Integrated Cancer Support Services at Hoag 

At Hoag Family Cancer Institute, we’re committed to offering the best support services, resources and educational information to our patients and their families at every stage of their cancer journey. Hoag’s Integrated Cancer Support Services are open to everyone regardless of their prognosis, cancer stage or phase of recovery. 

Resources include: 

Find more information about Integrated Cancer Support Services at Hoag.

Are there any clinical trials for lung cancer?

Hoag is committed to leading the way in state-of-the-art technologies and advanced treatment options. Part of this commitment includes clinical research with the goal of helping patients live longer, healthier lives. Through carefully planned clinical trials, researchers evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases or conditions. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. View clinical trials for lung cancer here.

At Hoag, our clinical research team is committed to excellence in research and a continuing commitment to protect the interests and well-being of patients.  Contact us at 949-764-4577 to see if joining a clinical trial for lung cancer is right for you.

Survivorship Support at Hoag

At Hoag, we understand that a cancer diagnosis may cause you and your family to experience a variety of significant life changes. We are committed to providing you with support before, during and after treatment. Hoag’s survivorship resources help you navigate through the challenges of telling friends and family about your cancer, working while living with cancer, returning to “normal” after cancer and so much more. We strive to provide you with the resources needed to feel empowered in your everyday life.

Learn more about our Survivorship Support here.