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Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. At Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, our specialists focus on a multidisciplinary approach that will make you confident that you are receiving the best possible care.

Lung Cancer At A Glance

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Lung cancer symptoms tend to be localized in the lungs, from shortness of breath or wheezing to coughing up blood or mucus. But other symptoms, like chest pain, persistent fever, or unintentional weight loss can also be signs of lung cancer. With the help of lung cancer screening available at Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s, we can help you catch lung cancer early. That’s important because about 25% of lung cancer patients are exhibiting no symptoms at the time of diagnosis.

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Steps to Diagnosis

Once your primary care physician identifies the potential cause of your symptoms, they may refer you to a pulmonary specialist or pulmonologist. Suspected lung and thoracic cancer may be referred to a medical oncologist. We’ll take a multidisciplinary approach that considers your care from every angle.

Common Concerns

Lung cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among Arizonans. So regardless of size, location or stage. Especially with a multidisciplinary care team that puts you at the center of care.

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The vast majority of lung and thoracic cancers have a single cause: smoking. There are other potential causes, such as environmental conditions and genetic traits, but limiting or eliminating exposure to tobacco through personal use or second-hand smoke is the best way to prevent lung cancer.


Both bladder and kidney cancer respond well to precision medicine as part of a personalized treatment plan designed specifically for you. These treatments may include:


An intravenous and/or oral medication that attacks and kills cancer cells in the body.


Intravenous medication that stimulates your immune system, by helping it recognize and destroy cancer cells.


A variety of procedures may remove the lung tumor and the nearby lymph nodes in the chest.

Radiation Therapy

High-powered energy beams, such as X-rays, are used to kill cancer cells directly.

Targeted Therapy

Therapy focused on blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells by targeting the specific genes, proteins, or tissue affected by cancer.

Photo Credit: Nick Merrick

Our Approach

Our unique point of view allows us to take a step back and consider the best possible approach for you. We start by getting a complete picture of you, your genetic makeup, your risk factors, and the complex intricacies of what makes you a human being.

Our interdisciplinary team considers the right care plan from multiple perspectives, often consulting with our internal network of experts to gather up-to-the-moment insight on treatment options.  

Then, your course of treatment will be designed to suit your exact medical needs, using precision medicine to do the most good while remaining minimally invasive. That means we’re focused not just on eradicating the disease, but on preserving your quality of life before, during, and after treatment.

We are here to help you heal as a whole person. Wherever your care path leads, you can be sure our entire team will be there with you every step of the way.

“It is a great privilege to be part of Norton Thoracic Institute, which makes such a positive difference in the lives of patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including life-threatening cancers and advanced lung disease.”

Mike Smith, MD
Thoracic Surgery
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Please contact us to for more information about other cancers and conditions we treat including:

  • Non small cell lung cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Thymus cancer
  • Plueral cancer – known as mesothelioma
  • Chest wall cancer

Patient Testimonials

“Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have lived as long as I have. I’m healthy and enjoying my family. I feel so fortunate.”

People come up and give me hugs. I have had people come up and pray with me. I’ve even had people pray on me. It all meant something. It was a fantastic experience.”

Continuing Support

Wherever your individual care plan takes you, we’ll work closely with you to understand your preferences, and your needs – and be sure any additional support is ready when you need it, including:

  • Dietary or nutrition advisors, providing special focus and attention for chemo patients
  • Genetic counselors to help you understand your risk factors
  • Social workers dedicated to easing your emotional burdens and helping with community benefits
  • Financial counselors to help you understand the financial aspect and work with you to reduce the burden when possible
  • Specialty pharmacy liaisons who help authorize your prescriptions and educate you on managing side effects and taking your medicine properly
  • Nurse navigators to help guide you throughout the cancer institute, every step of the way
  • Physical and rehabilitation therapists who provide integrated care alongside your primary care plan