Lung Cancer

What is lung cancer? It is cancer of the lungs and air passages. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women. Each year, more people will die from lung cancer than will die from colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. It is estimated that 87 percent of all lung cancers are caused by smoking.

How often does it occur? More than 226,000 lung cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the United States and more than 160,000 individuals will die from the disease.

Are there different types of lung cancer? Yes, the two main types are:

  • small cell lung cancers
  • non-small cell lung cancers

The two types are treated very differently, and more than 80 percent of lung cancers are of the non-small cell variety.

What does University of Minnesota Physicians Cancer Care offer? Our specialists are experts in treating lung cancer, and have contributed greatly to the treatments available. Surgeons here were responsible for the first lung resection in the 1930s. Today, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, is one of the few facilities to use minimally invasive robotics for these resections.
Patients with lung cancers often have complex medical needs and require comprehensive therapies such as:

  • surgery
  • radiation
  • chemotherapy
  • novel treatments

Our specialists see more than 1,000 patients each year and work with them to develop a plan of treatment that is customized to their unique needs.