Frequently Asked Questions | UC Davis Health

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled this helpful list of the most commonly asked questions that newly diagnosed and recently referred patients ask our physicians and patient navigators.

Lung cancer is a type of malignancy (cancer) that begins in the lungs, but which can spread to other organs in the body if left untreated. It is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Lung cancer is not just one type of cancer. The various types of lung cancer are identified and categorized based on the appearance of the cancer cells under a microscope.

While anyone can develop lung cancer, certain factors increase the risk. These include, but are not limited to, smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, exposure to asbestos or radon, a family history of lung cancer, certain lung diseases, air pollution and prior radiation therapy to the chest.

The Lung-LEAD Clinic at UC Davis Health is dedicated to the early detection of lung nodules and lung cancer. As part of our UC Davis Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program, the Lung-LEAD Clinic offers advanced screening, diagnostic and treatment options to patients, ensuring timely and effective care.

Early detection of lung cancer can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and cure. When lung cancer is detected early, more treatment options are available to patients, and the outcomes are generally better compared to late-stage diagnosis.

Individuals who are at high risk for lung cancer, specifically long-term current or former smokers or people who have been continually exposed to lung carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer), should consider screening. People should discuss their individual risk factors with a health care provider to determine if screening is appropriate for them.

Lung cancer screening typically involves a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan of the chest. This scan can detect lung nodules, some of which may consist of early-stage cancerous tissue.

A lung nodule is a small growth or spot in the lung that can be seen on a chest X-ray or CT scan. While many lung nodules are benign (non-cancerous), some can be malignant (cancerous). The Lung-LEAD Clinic specializes in evaluating these nodules to determine their nature and the best course of action.

Treatment for lung cancer depends on the type, stage and the patient’s overall health. Common treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

The most effective way to reduce your risk is to avoid smoking or to quit if you currently smoke. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, testing your home for radon, and taking precautions if you work with toxic chemicals can also help reduce your risk

Yes! Our Stop Tobacco Program (SToP) in collaboration with Kick It California can give you the help you need to quit smoking.Learn about our Stop Tobacco Program

Risk to family planning is unlikely, but if it becomes a concern at any point, our cancer physicians will discuss all possible reproductive preservation options at your disposal. We will do all we can to maintain quality of life for you and your family.

You can contact the Lung-LEAD Clinic to schedule an appointment or consultation. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the process and answer any other questions you may have. Learn more about the Lung-LEAD Clinic.