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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

The physicians and thoracic surgeons at the UVM Medical Center are committed to providing compassionate and effective care for lung cancer.  

Lung Cancer Care at UVM Medical Center

Our multidisciplinary team of lung cancer specialists work together to provide you with the very best care.

  • Efficiency - We know you want to start getting better as quickly as possible. You will leave after your first visit knowing that our team members are talking to each other to come up with a treatment plan.
  • Research-based expertise - 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. Your care is based on the most up-to-date evidence on lung cancer treatments.
  • Advanced technology - Lung cancer treatment at The University of Vermont Medical Center includes unique and modern technology. You have the option of lung cancer video-assisted surgery (known as VATS), which shortens recovery time.
  • Surgical excellence - Our thoracic surgeons have specialized expertise in the staging and treatment of lung cancer so you have the best outcomes.
  • Coordinated care - Our patient navigators will lead you through the entire process of diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer. We will provide education and coordinate tests, appointments, and communications with your providers.

Lung Cancer: An Overview

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

The UVM Medical Center is here to help you through every aspect of your care, starting from the moment you first visit us for your initial assessment. We want to provide you with the support, information and care that you need during the treatment period - and beyond. Additionally, we offer long-term surveillance once you return to your daily life.

The Clinic offers leading technology in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, including:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scanning - uses a detailed X-ray to create 3D images of the lungs
  • Magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging - uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the lungs
  • Positron emission tomography (PET-CT) scanning - uses a radioactive substance to see inside the body and take images of the lungs
  • Surgical lung biopsy - takes a small tissue sample from the lung to be viewed under a microscope
  • Complete pulmonary function test laboratory - includes a range of tests that measure how the lungs are functioning

Treatments for Lung Cancer

Though some of these words may sound intimidating, you should know that a great deal of progress has been made in cancer care in recent years. For many of the treatments listed, side effects have been greatly reduced.

Lung cancer treatment options at The University of Vermont Medical Center include:

Your lung cancer treatment team includes the advanced care and expertise of a specialized group of physicians who work together in the fields of:

We also meet special needs, such as:

  • Nutritional services
  • Pain services
  • Palliative care
  • Hospice services

Specialized Programs

As part of the UVM Medical Center, we offer the opportunity to participate in the latest lung cancer treatment clinical trials.

In addition, we offer our patients a variety of specialized support programs.

Lung Cancer Care at UVM Medical Center: How We Compare

At UVM Medical Center, we see approximately 250 patients each year for diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

View Our Locations


UVM Medical Center Main Campus

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

 (802) 847-2444

111 Colchester Avenue
Main Campus, East Pavilion, Level 5
Burlington, VT 05401-1473

Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Exterior photo of the UVM Medical Center entrance.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

 (802) 847-8158

111 Colchester Avenue
Main Campus, East Pavilion, Level 5
Burlington, VT 05401-1473

Monday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Christopher J. Anker, MD
Radiation Oncology
Havaleh M. Gagne, MD
Radiation Oncology
Eric K. Ganguly, MD
Garth W. Garrison, MD
Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonary Disease
George E. Gentchos, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
	  	  Farrah B. Khan, MD
Farrah B. Khan, MD
Medical Oncology
Charles M. Kinsey, MD, MPH
Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonary Disease
Carl J. Nelson, MD
Radiation Oncology
Mitchell C. Norotsky, MD
Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery
Hibba tul Rehman, MD
Medical Oncology
Sarah C. Wagner, NP
Pulmonary Disease
	  	  Ryan R. Walsh, MD
Ryan R. Walsh, MD
Diagnostic Radiology


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Cancer Center - Patient Guide