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Lung cancer typically begins in the cells that line air passages. There are two main types, which are diagnosed by looking at the cells under a microscope:

  • Small cell lung cancer
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer: What You Need to Know


Smoking causes most lung cancers, but not all. The University of Vermont Medical Center offers a quit smoking program.


Our multidisciplinary team of lung cancer specialists work together to provide you with the very best care. You can see several specialists at a single place in one visit. We see approximately 250 patients each year for diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

Personalized Care

Your care will be led by patient navigators who will help you through your entire experience. We will serve as your first contact, providing education, playing a central role in coordinating tests and appointments, and communicating with your providers.

Experienced, Trusted Expertise

Lung cancer is treated at The UVM Medical Center and the Vermont Cancer Center by nationally recognized experts. The doctors and staff in our Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic are dedicated to providing you with superior care, informed by the latest medical thinking, and delivered with compassion and support. Most of our doctors not only treat patients, but also serve as professors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and participate in a thriving cancer research program at The UVM Cancer Center and Vermont Lung Center.

What is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancers combined.

Some risk factors can be controlled, such as smoking, but others cannot. Lung cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking (Want to quit smoking?)
  • Breathing secondhand smoke
  • Some smoking-related lung diseases: emphysema, for example
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Exposure to gases and chemicals either at home or work:
    • Radon gas
    • Asbestos
    • Arsenic
    • Chromium
    • Nickel
  • Lung cancer in close family members

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer symptoms typically start happening when the cancer is advanced. Some lung cancer symptoms may include:

  • Coughing:
    • A new cough that won't go away
    • Changes in a chronic cough (sometimes called "smoker's cough")
    • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Bone pain
  • Headache

Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

The UVM Medical Center's Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic involves a team of specialists working together to provide optimal diagnosis and treatment.

Learn more about lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.