News on NSCLC

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. John Whyte, the Chief Medical Officer at WebMD. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. There is a myth out there that only smokers get lung cancer, and that is simply not true. When non-smokers get lung cancer, it's usually this type.

Now, most lung cancers don't cause any symptoms until they've spread, but some people with early lung cancer do have some symptoms. This is what I want you to watch out for-- a cough that doesn't go away or gets worse, if you're coughing up blood, if your voice becomes hoarse, if you have unintentional weight loss, if you have shortness of breath or wheezing.

The key with any cancer is to catch it early so treatment will be more successful. It's in the diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer that I'm really happy to report improvements. We used to diagnose cancer by chest X-ray and quickly learned that's not the right approach, and don't you ever rely on that.

Nowadays, we sometimes use a special CT scan called a low-dose helical or spiral CT. But there is also research on biomarkers, which are substances found in the blood that may indicate cancer. Folks are also working on a device similar to a colonoscopy, where they insert it down your throat to go deep in your lungs to look for cancer.

Diagnosis is the first step, then comes treatment. And everybody wants treatment for their cancer, their particular case. And that's what personalized medicine is all about, and we are moving in that direction. Immuno-oncology has changed the way we treat patients, especially those in later stages. And that gives people hope, and also time.

It's the same for targeted therapies, where treatment is focused on your tumor's mutation. Recent studies have shown significant progress in helping people live longer with a higher quality of life. Please make sure you talk to your doctor and find out if you should be screened.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, make sure your doctor is offering you the latest therapy that is personalized for you. They aren't, talk to another doctor. Don't assume you're getting the latest treatment. Find out if you are. Because when it comes to your health, I want you to ask a lot of questions.

If your doctor doesn't answer them to your satisfaction, find another doctor. As I said, we have lots of advancements in screening and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. I want to make sure you get the best care. [MUSIC PLAYING]