Lung cancer care in Denver

At Sarah Cannon at Rose Medical Center, lung cancer is one of the top types of cancer that we diagnose and treat each year in Denver, Colorado. As a leader in treating lung cancer, our medical professionals can help with diagnosis, providing a second opinion, staging cancer, planning for treatment and offering cancer support through specialized nurse navigation.

Lung cancer screening

Rose Medical Center offers low-dose CT (computed tomography) screenings to detect lung cancer. Lung screening has been proven successful in diagnosing lung cancer earlier when it can be more effectively treated. In fact, lung cancer screening is three times more effective than mammography is at preventing breast cancer death and two times more effective than colonoscopy is at preventing colon cancer death.

Patients who are eligible to receive the low-dose lung cancer screening exam must answer "yes" to all of the following:

  • Are you between the ages of 55 and 77?
  • Have you smoked at least 30-pack years?
  • Are you currently a smoker or have your quit within the last 15 years?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, reach out directly to our lung cancer screening coordinator at (303) 320-2222 or to see if you are eligible for low-dose lung cancer screening or to get more information about our program.

Our program is unique in that we do not require a physician order to schedule your exam. Instead, our team works with you to ensure eligibility requirements are met, provide counseling about testing and possible results. Then, we will get you set up with a visit with an expert nurse practitioner, who will speak with you about this impactful screening test, and then you can get the exam the same day. The entire process can be set in motion with one phone call!

If something concerning is discovered from your screening results, we will discuss this with you and your primary care doctor (if you have one), and we will work together to advance your care plan with our medical experts and partners at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Rose Medical Center. And if cancer if found, you will have access to cutting-edge diagnostics and therapies as well as the personalized support of a dedicated nurse navigator to help coordinate appointments, provide support and much more. If we don't find anything suspicious, we'll help remind you to keep this screening each year.

Rose comprehensive lung cancer treatment

Lung cancer is often not found until it is quite advanced. The expert team at Rose Medical Center will work with you to put together an aggressive treatment plan. In fact, Rose patients diagnosed with Stage 3 or Stage 4 lung cancer have a five-year survival rate that is nearly double the average in Colorado.

The Rose lung cancer program includes:

  • Multi-specialty approach to coordinate the best care
  • Excellent cancer patient survival rates
  • Cancer Resource Center for support and education
  • Access to national lung cancer clinical trials
  • Weekly tumor board case conferences for patient review
  • Genetic counseling for hereditary cancer risk and testing

Symptoms of lung cancer

Often, there are no symptoms of early stage lung cancer, which is why we encourage patients at higher risk to get regular screenings. However, sometimes patients experience:

  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia
  • Wheezing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Lung cancer risk factors

Because lung cancer is most treatable at its earliest stages, it is recommended that patients at risk undergo regular screenings. You may be at higher risk for developing lung cancer if you:

  • Are 50 years old or older
  • Smoked for 20 or more pack years (A pack year is equal to the number of packs smoked a day multiplied by the number of years you smoked)
  • Stopped smoking less than 15 years ago
  • Have a family history of lung cancer
  • Have a personal history of chronic lung disease (COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Have a personal history of cancer
  • Have had jobs that exposed you to arsenic, nickel, asbestos, beryllium, soot, cadmium, diesel fumes, chromium or coal dust

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Rose Medical Center is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis, to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally-trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially-trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (303) 253-3225 or chat online at