Skip to main content

8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Translate

Conditions That We Specialize In

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer usually starts in the lining of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs), but can also begin in other areas of the respiratory system, including the trachea, bronchioles or alveoli. Lung cancers are believed to develop over a period of many years.

Nearly all lung cancers are carcinomas, a cancer that begins in the lining or covering tissues of an organ. The tumor cells of each type of lung cancer grow and spread differently, and each type requires different treatment.

Lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms when it first develops, but symptoms often become present after the tumor begins growing. A cough is the most common symptom of lung cancer. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Bloody or rust-colored sputum
  • Hoarseness
  • A tumor that presses on large blood vessels near the lung can cause swelling of the neck and face
  • A tumor that presses on certain nerves near the lung can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Fever for unknown reason
  • Like many other cancers, lung cancer can cause:
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Loss of weight
    • Headache
    • Pain in other parts of the body not affected by the cancer
    • Bone fractures
  • Other symptoms can be caused by substances made by lung cancer cells - referred to as a paraneoplastic syndrome. For example, certain lung cancer cells produce a substance that causes a sharp drop in the level of sodium in the blood, which can cause many symptoms, including confusion and sometimes even coma.

None of these symptoms is a sure sign of lung cancer. Only a physician can tell whether a patient's symptoms are caused by cancer or by another problem. If you want to schedule a Lung Cancer screening please call 571-472-4724.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is cancer that develops in the esophagus, the muscular 10- to 13-inch tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

The esophagus is located just behind the trachea and allows food to enter the stomach for digestion. The wall of the esophagus is made up of several layers and cancers generally start from the inner layer and grow out.

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of esophageal cancer. Symptoms do not appear until the disease is more advanced. The following symptoms are the most common of esophageal cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Difficult or painful swallowing, known as dysphagia, is the most common symptom of esophageal cancer. Dysphagia gives a sensation of having food lodged in the chest
  • Pain the throat or back, behind the breastbone or between the shoulder blades
  • Severe weight loss due to the unintentional lack of not getting enough food
  • Hoarseness or chronic cough that does not go away within two weeks
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in stool or black-looking stools
  • Heartburn

None of these symptoms is a sure sign of lung cancer. Only a physician can tell whether a patient's symptoms are caused by cancer or by another problem.

Thymus Cancer (Mediastinum)

Thymus cancers are rare. The thymus is a small organ located just behind the breast bone (sternum) in the front part of the chest. The thymus is in a part of the chest called the mediastinum, the space in the chest between the lungs that also contains the heart, part of the aorta, the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach), part of the trachea (windpipe), and many lymph nodes. The thymus sits just in front of and above the heart.

The thymus is divided into 2 halves, called lobes. It has an irregular shape. There are a lot of small bumps called lobules on its surface. The thymus has 3 main layers:

  • The medulla is the inside part of the thymus
  • The cortex is the layer that surrounds the medulla
  • The capsule is the thin covering over the outside of the thymus
  • The thymus reaches its maximum weight of about 1 ounce during puberty. Then it decreases in size during adulthood as it's replaced by fat tissue

The thymus is an important part of the body’s immune system. During fetal development and childhood, the thymus is involved in the production and maturation of T lymphocytes (also known as T cells), a type of white blood cell. T lymphocytes develop in the thymus and then travel to lymph nodes (bean-sized collections of immune system cells) throughout the body. There they help the immune system protect the body from viruses, fungus, and other types of infections.

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Thymus Cancer, please call 571-472-4724 and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our experts.

lung services
Inova Lung Services

Inova Lung Services is committed to delivering excellent care to patients dealing with illnesses of the lungs and thoracic cavity.

Learn More
older man on bench
Interventional Pulmonology

Inova's Interventional Pulmonology Program is an advanced subspecialty of pulmonary medicine focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. 

Learn More
Surgeons operating
Thoracic Surgery

Our experience in thoracic surgery is extensive, with our surgeons performing hundreds of surgeries each year.

Learn More
Woman breaking a cigarette
Smoking Cessation Program

We invite you to join our smoking cessation program, offered either remotely or in person. Smokers who participate in cessation programs are more likely to successfully quit smoking than those who attempt quitting on their own.

Learn More
patient and provider
Lung Cancer Screening Program

Inova's Lung Cancer Screening program is designed to detect cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.

Learn More