Cancer Care

Lung Cancer Care

Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths. The two primary types of lung cancer are called non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. MaineHealth Cancer Care brings together teams of specialists to accurately detect and stage lung and other thoracic (within the chest) cancers.

Lung Cancer Specialists

If you have lung cancer, different types of doctors may be involved in your care. 

It is important that cancer specialists highly trained in their area of care participate in evaluating your diagnosis and planning your treatment.

Chronic cough, wheezing may be lung cancer signs

  • Coughing (sometimes with blood)
  • Chest and ribs hurt
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling out of breath
  • Frequent chest colds and chest infections
  • Weight loss

Lung cancer treatment options can vary

Treatment depends on the cancer type and stage. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery

  • Radiation

  • Chemotherapy

  • Targeted therapies

  • Clinical trials

  • Complementary and integrative therapies

Getting a second opinion is not uncommon in cancer care. At MaineHealth, we know how important it is to be confident in the approach to your lung cancer care and treatment. We want to make every effort to facilitate a second opinion, whenever the patient – and in many situations, the provider – wants to seek a second opinion. This is important to us, and our focus on patient-centered care.

What is a second opinion?

A second opinion is when a patient or physician seeks another physician specialist’s review of a patient’s diagnosis or recommended treatment. It is common in cancer, especially if a patient has an unusually complicated condition or rare form of the disease.

When you choose to obtain a second opinion, your physician forwards test results such as radiology images, blood work and pathology slides. The physician may recommend another physician specializing in that cancer, or the patient may find a specialist through a primary care physician, online research or a relative or friend’s recommendation.

To confirm that insurance will cover the cost of second opinion visits, it is recommended that you verify by contacting your insurance company directly.

Preparing for your visit

Like all visits for cancer care, when you are getting a second opinion, it’s helpful to write down your questions in advance and take notes during the conversation. Physicians often recommend that you bring someone with you to help you recall the discussion later. It can be difficult to process what you’re hearing especially if you’re scared or anxious about your condition.

Physicians also may seek another physician’s opinion either on a one-on-one basis, or by asking a multidisciplinary group of cancer specialists to review and weigh in on a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. This team of specialists includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, as well pathologists, pharmacists and patient navigators. They meet regularly to review patients’ cases.

Where to go for a second opinion?

MaineHealth has sites where patients and their physicians may obtain second opinions. Each site includes lung cancer experts with advanced training and experience.

MaineHealth Maine Medical Center

MaineGeneral Medical Center