Advanced lung cancer treatment in Virginia

The Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Virginia hospitals provides advanced procedures for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer — all focused on enhancing your quality of life. We provide comprehensive cancer care, including rehabilitation services and a variety of cancer support resources, to provide continued support throughout your cancer journey.

For more information about cancer diagnostics, treatments and other services, call askSARAH at (804) 591-4152.

Comprehensive lung cancer care

Our multispecialty cancer care program provides you with a dedicated team of diverse clinical professionals, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, thoracic surgical oncologists and pulmonary care specialists. This team gets to know you as an individual and works together to create a comprehensive plan for treatment, recovery and follow-up care tailored to your specific needs.

Lung cancer signs and symptoms

Early recognition of signs and symptoms of lung cancer is essential to ensure the best potential outcome. Signs of lung cancer tend to not show up until the disease is in later stages. However, early detection is still possible with screenings and by talking to your doctor about any potential symptoms you experience.

Common symptoms of lung cancer can include:

  • A new, chronic cough or a cough that doesn't go away
  • Chest pain that is worse with deep breathing or coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained loss of appetite and/or weight loss

Signs of lung cancer tend to not show up until the disease is in later stages. However, early detection is still possible with screenings and by talking to your doctor about any potential symptoms you experience.

Lung cancer screening

The goal of lung cancer screening is to identify cancer in its earliest stages when it is more treatable and potentially even curable. Early lung cancer screening is performed when a patient is not symptomatic but is considered to be at a high risk for developing lung cancer.

Our lung cancer specialists use low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans to screen for lung cancer. These scans are similar to CT scans but use a lower dose of radiation to create the images of the lungs.

In addition, the Navigational Bronch/Lung Nodule Clinic at Henrico Doctors' Hospital uses advanced minimally invasive technology to evaluate lung nodules in the earliest stages.

Who should be screened for lung cancer?

Sarah Cannon recommends LDCT lung cancer screening for individuals at an increased risk of developing the disease. Talk to your doctor about a screening test if the below criteria apply to you:

  • Age 55-77 for Medicare, Age 55-80 Commercial insurance
  • You are a current smoker or former smoker who quit within the last 15 years.
  • You have a 30 or more pack year history of smoking.
    • A pack year is a way to measure the amount of smoking an individual has done over a period of time. A 30-pack year history of smoking is equivalent to smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years. You can calculate the number of cigarettes you have consumed with the American Cancer Society’s cigarette calculator.

Lung cancer diagnosis

Following your initial exam, our lung cancer team may recommend a number of tests to accurately determine the type and stage of your cancer. We use advanced technologies and medical imaging services to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Our diagnostic services include:

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Esophageal ultrasound (EUS)
  • Image-guided needle biopsy and needle aspiration
  • Low dose CT scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Mediastinoscopy/mediastinotomy
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)/CT
  • Thoracentesis
  • Thoracic imaging

Lung cancer treatment

When lung cancer is detected early, our highly skilled surgeons have a better chance of successfully treating the cancer. Our doctors offer personalized treatment based on your unique situation.

Our experienced team of oncologists treat new and recurring lung, esophageal, pleural, mediastinal and chest wall tumors with advanced and minimally invasive technology and techniques, including:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Difficult-to-reach distal lesion access technology
  • Immunotherapy
  • Minimally invasive robotic surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

Lung cancer support

We integrate education and support throughout our program of care. Patients benefit from our broad range of services, including:

  • A lung cancer nurse navigator who assists with all aspects of your care
  • Dietitians who can address your changing nutritional needs as you recover from surgery and pursue follow-up treatments
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help improve your quality of life
  • Support groups to guide you from diagnosis and treatment through recovery and life after cancer

Lung cancer nurse navigator

When you choose one of our hospitals for your lung cancer treatment, you will be paired with an experienced lung cancer nurse navigator who will offer guidance and support to both you and your family. Your nurse navigator is specially trained to answer your questions, help you make informed care decisions and serve as a resource for your unique needs.

Lung cancer support group

This support group is designed to provide education and support to patients with lung cancer. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

Smoking cessation program

The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. We recognize that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to quitting smoking, but when you are ready to ask for help, we are here for you.

We offer a smoking cessation program that can help you stop smoking for good in just seven weeks. Participants in our program are six times more likely to be smoke-free one year after starting our program than those who try to quit on their own. Up to 60 percent of participants report being smoke-free by the end of the program when used in combination with smoking cessation medications.

Our American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking program is offered periodically throughout the year and includes ample group interaction, consisting of eight sessions over seven weeks. There is a one-time $60 fee due at registration on your first day.

For more information about our smoking cessation program, call (840) 422-2273.


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 (804) 591-4152 or chat online at askSARAHnow.com.