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Special Reports |

Living With Lung Cancer*: The Other Side of the Desk

Leo M. Kahana, MD, MSc
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: *From the Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Burlington, ON, Canada.,  Deceased.

Correspondence to: A. Jay Block, MD, FCCP, Editor-in-Chief, CHEST, 3000 Dundee Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062; e-mail: editor@chestnet.org



Chest. 2000;118(3):840-842. doi:10.1378/chest.118.3.840
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Lung cancer from the point of view of the physicians who have to deal with this condition is not, generally, very challenging in terms of diagnosis or treatment. The patient is or has been a heavy smoker who may be asymptomatic, but frequently presents with cough and blood spitting. The tumor or its effects, atelectasis or pneumonia, are usually evident on the chest radiograph. The diagnosis is confirmed with bronchoscopy and bronchial biopsy or washings, or in some cases, needle aspiration of nodes or the tumor itself. The choice of treatment requires staging with the aid of such modalities as CT, mediastinoscopy, and radioisotope bone scans. Unfortunately after all these tests, in the majority of cases, the patient has to be told that the tumor is inoperable and the only treatment is radiation or chemotherapy, with a poor prognosis.

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