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David Spigel, M.D.

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 224,000 new cases and 159,000 deaths will occur in the nation this year. Tennessee is in an epicenter of the epidemic. Approximately 6,000 new cases and more than 4,600 deaths will occur in Tennessee this year alone. The state has the highest incidence of lung cancer in the country behind Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia.

The high case and death numbers can be attributed to cigarette smoking, the leading risk factor for lung cancer. Kentucky has the highest smoking rate in the nation – 30.2 percent of Kentuckians smoke. However, Tennessee ranks just outside the top five with the ninth highest smoking rate in the nation – 26.2 percent of Tennesseans smoke.

Tennessee Oncology provides care to a large number of patients with lung cancer who live in the state and around the region. Tennessee Oncology offers the latest in state-of-the-art radiation and therapies for advanced disease in lung cancer care, as well as research advances (in partnership with the Sarah Cannon Research Institute) to patients in its communities. There are many additional, exciting areas of lung cancer care and research that are changing how patients with lung cancer are
diagnosed and treated, ranging from advanced imaging to therapies designed to boost the immune system.

An exciting and promising frontier in lung cancer care is personalized treatment. Oncologists now
have the ability to look deeper into lung cancer, better understanding the unique signals that may
cause cancers to grow and spread. This new intelligence allows oncologists to better select possible therapy to potentially target the signs.

Tennessee Oncology is at the forefront of advancing lung cancer care in Tennessee and the surrounding region.