Lung cancer starts in the cells of the lung. A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. When cancer starts in lung cells, it is called primary lung cancer.
Launched in June 2017 people who are at high risk of getting lung cancer will be able to be screened in a few hospitals across Ontario. This is a pilot that will help plan for a possible province-wide lung cancer screening program.
The following hospitals in Ontario have lung cancer screening locations:
- The Ottawa Hospital and Renfrew Victoria Hospital - 1-844-394-1124
- Health Sciences North in Sudbury - 1-844-703-0164
- Lakeridge Health in Oshawa – 1-855-721-4812
You may qualify for screening if you:
- are 55 to 74 years old, and
- have smoked cigarettes daily (current or past smokers) for at least 20 years in total
To find out if you qualify, talk to your healthcare provider or call the lung cancer screening hospital closest to you.
Symptoms of lung cancer
Lung cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour grows and causes changes in the body such as a cough or shortness of breath. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as lung cancer.
Symptoms can include:
- a cough that gets worse or doesn’t go away
- shortness of breath
- chest pain that is always felt and gets worse with deep breathing or coughing
- blood in mucus coughed up from the lungs
- chest infections like bronchitis or pneumonia that don’t get better or keep coming back
- weight loss
- hoarseness or other voice changes
- difficulty swallowing
- collapsed lung
- larger than normal lymph nodes in the neck or above the collarbone
- buildup of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
- bone pain