Hope

Yes, you CAN survive a lung cancer diagnosis. Exciting new treatments for lung cancer are being discovered that may be used alone, before or after, or in combination with traditional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Lung Cancer Foundation of America is working to change the public perceptions of lung cancer through education and personal stories of those impacted by this leading cause of death in cancer. These stories bring special attention to specific health conditions associated closely with lung cancer.

Read Their Stories

Celebrate with us the stories of these brave Lung Cancer Heroes. While they are not here to tell their stories themselves, these Heroes inspire us and motivate us to keep fighting this disease every day and in every way.

Read Their Stories

Targeted Therapies

Researchers are learning more about what makes lung cancer cells form, grow, and spread. Every cell in the body has the same library of genes that acts as the blueprint for everything else that makes up a cell and makes it work. In cancer cells, damage to these genes (mutations) is responsible for the cells becoming cancerous. Some of these mutations create proteins in cells that act like a stuck gas pedal in your car to make it drive out of control. These mutant proteins in cancer cells are good “targets” for new drugs. These drugs are known as TARGETED THERAPIES.    Targeted therapies work by blocking these mutant proteins, which prevents them from growing and spreading, while not harming normal cells. Tarceva® (Erlotinib), Gilogrif® (Afatanib), Xalkori® (Crizotinib) and Zykadia® (Ceritinib) are examples of FDA-approved drugs that target the mutated proteins, some of which are referred to as “receptors” that are driving the cancer cells out of control.

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What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer begins in normal lung cells that have been altered in such a way that they no longer behave like a normal cell. These abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled fashion, causing harm or invading normal tissue,   may even spread to other parts of the body. Once thought to be a single disease, research has shown that lung cancer is actually a group of diseases characterized by 1) what type of lung tissue the abnormal cells originated in (the “histology”) and 2)what type of changes or mutations have taken place in the altered cell ie: presence of molecular proteins (“markers”). Knowing the specific type of lung cancer is critical to guiding treatment decisions and personalizing a patient’s management, and ultimately improving quality of life and optimizing chances for survival.

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Early Detection

The classic symptoms of lung cancer are well publicized and include:

Each symptom is somewhat benign in and of itself, and generally not a cause for worry. Often, symptoms such as the above are ignored as just another daily ache or pain. Moreover, these symptoms generally do not manifest themselves in the early stages of lung cancer. Instead, most lung cancers are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease making treatment more problematic and as a result significantly reducing the overall lung cancer survival rate.

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Immunotherapies

A New and Exciting Frontier In The Treatment of Lung Cancer is the Field of “Immunotherapy.”