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Lung Cancer: Home

What Is Lung Cancer?

The body is made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells grow, divide, and produce more cells as needed to keep the body healthy and functioning properly. Sometimes, however, the process goes wrong and cells become abnormal, forming more cells in an uncontrolled way. These extra cells form a mass of tissue, called a growth or tumor. Tumors can be benign, which means not cancerous, or malignant, which means cancerous.

Lung cancer occurs when tumors form in the tissue of the lungs. Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. There are two major types of lung cancer - non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Each type of lung cancer grows and spreads in different ways, and each is treated differently.

Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • A cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time
  • Constant chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness
  • Repeated problems with pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Fatigue

Doctors diagnose lung cancer using a physical exam, imaging, and lab tests. Treatment depends on the type, stage, and how advanced it is. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.

Image Source: Center for Disease Control

Helpful Websites

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Books at the Cancer Resource Library

Support Group

Living with Lung Cancer Support Group

This group provides a safe place for those living with lung cancer and their families to exchange information and provide mutual support.

Date and Time
3rd Monday of each month, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
For upcoming dates and times, check the Cancer Center Calendar.

Location
317 West Pueblo Street - Sansum Clinic Board Room. 
Parking is available on the property.

This program is offered free-of-charge. All support groups are facilitated by professional staff. For more information, please call Adele Fergusson at (805) 886-8148.

Lung Cancer Screening

Sansum Clinic now offers lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals. If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung cancer may be up to 25 times higher than someone who has never smoked. A low-dose CT scan (LDCT) is the only proven effective way to screen for lung cancer. If you are considering being screened for lung cancer, it is important that you and your healthcare team make this informed decision together. There are important benefits to being screened for lung cancer, but as with all tests, there are also risks to consider. 

Contact your primary care physician for more information or if you have questions about lung cancer screening.

Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, contact Rosario Campuzano, (805) 563-5852. 

Patient Navigation

The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara provides Patient Navigation services in order to assist patients on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer. Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.

Navigators offer coordination of care throughout a cancer patient's experience, by:

  • Explaining medical procedures and providing cancer information
  • Ensuring medical appointments are scheduled and kept
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance information
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Enhancing communication between care providers

For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or navigator@ccsb.org.

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.


The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Cancer Resource Library
540 West Pueblo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 563-5807 │ library@ccsb.org
www.ccsb.org