lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Facts

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Smoking is the cause of 90 percent of all cases. Because lung cancer goes undiagnosed until later stages, prevention or early diagnosis is the key.


The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. If you are not a smoker, you can decrease your chances of getting this disease by avoiding second-hand smoke and exposure to high pollution levels. If you are showing signs of lung cancer, schedule a CT scan of your chest as soon as possible.

Saint Francis was the first in the area to offer free lung cancer screenings* to those that qualify. For more information on the next screening or to see if you are eligible, call 573-331-5111.

* – No out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients.

Cigarette Pack Year Calculator

“Pack years” are used to calculate about how much someone has smoked in their life. One “pack year” means smoking 20 cigarettes every day for one year.

Free Lung Cancer Screenings

Free annual lung cancer screenings for adults 50 and older* are held Monday – Friday, 8 am  to 5 pm at Saint Francis Medical Center. A physician’s order is required and should be faxed to 573-331-5030. Call 573-331-5111 for details. Saint Francis Foundation underwrites lung cancer screenings.  

* – One free screening per person, per lifetime


Lung cancer treatment begins with early diagnosis. At Saint Francis, we use a team approach to catch this disease in its earliest stages. The following measures are used to diagnose lung cancer:

  • Genetic counseling program to determine your risks for lung cancer so you can take steps to proactively manage your health
  • Chest X-rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans

Saint Francis also offers endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS), a procedure that enables safer, more accurate biopsies of chest lymph nodes so physicians can detect and diagnose lung cancer, infections, and other lymphatic diseases. The EBUS bronchoscope is less invasive than than histologic sampling—patients can have the procedure done in an outpatient setting and return home without incisions or scarring.


Under the direction of board certified medical and radiation oncologists, Saint Francis Medical Center offers a variety of treatments for lung cancer, including:

  • Advanced surgery to remove tumors in the lungs
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Frameless stereotactic radiosurgery
  • CyberKnife® VSI Robotic RadioSurgery System, which delivers high doses of radiation with pinpoint accuracy to surgically complex or inoperable tumors in the lungs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Biological drug therapy
  • Immunotherapy