Lung Cancer

  • Overview


    Lung cancer is a malignant tumour in the tissue of one or both lungs. There are several types of lung cancer, which are classified according to the type of cell affected: non-small cell lung cancer; small cell lung cancer; and mesothelioma.


    Cancer Council NSW

    Information extracted from the Cancer Council NSW website and reproduced with permission.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/lung-cancer/

    © Cancer Council NSW 2012


    Symptoms


    The main symptoms of lung cancer are:

    • a new dry cough or change in a chronic cough
    • chest pain or breathlessness
    • repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
    • coughing or spitting up blood.

    Lung cancer is often discovered when it is advanced. A person may have experienced symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, hoarseness or wheezing, difficulty swallowing, or abdominal and joint pain.

    Having any one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions or by the side effects of smoking. Talk to your doctor to have your symptoms checked.

    Lung cancer is sometimes detected during routine tests for other problems and if so is more likely to be in an early stage
    of development.


    Cancer Council NSW

    Information extracted from the Cancer Council NSW website and reproduced with permission.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/73626/cancer-information/cancer-diagnosis-and-symptoms/cancer-symptoms/lung-cancer-symptoms/?pp=33316&cc=9541&ct=13

    © Cancer Council NSW 2012


    Diagnosis


    If lung cancer is suspected, a number of tests will be done to help make a diagnosis.

    • Imaging tests
    • Tissue sampling tests
  • Surgery for lung cancer


    Surgical removal of a tumour offers the best chance of a cure for patients who have early-stage cancer. The surgeon, who is part of the multidisciplinary team, will determine if the cancer is confined to your lung, assess your general wellbeing and fitness for an operation, and assess your breathing capacity.

    Patients must cease smoking for a minimum of four weeks before any surgery will be performed.


    Cancer Council NSW

    Information extracted from the Cancer Council NSW website and reproduced with permission.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/78503/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/types-of-treatment/surgery-for-lung-cancer/?pp=33318&cc=254&&ct=13

    © Cancer Council NSW 2012


    Radiotherapy for lung cancer


    Radiotherapy treats cancer by using x-ray beams to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy is offered when lung cancer cannot be managed by surgery and has not spread outside the chest. Radiotherapy can also be used to treat cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. This may stop the cancer from spreading further or from returning later. It is often given together with chemotherapy if the intention is to cure the cancer.

    It can also be used:

    • to treat an early stage small peripheral (on the outer portions of the lung rather than deep inside) lung cancer,
    • where the patient is not fit for an operation or cannot abstain from smoking
    • after surgery to treat sites where lymph nodes were taken as an attempt to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back
    • to treat cancer that has spread to other organs such as the brain or bones
    • as palliative treatment, to reduce symptoms, improve your quality of life or extend your life.

    Cancer Council NSW

    Information extracted from the Cancer Council NSW website and reproduced with permission.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/78505/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/types-of-treatment/radiotherapy-for-lung-cancer/?pp=33318&cc=254&ct=13

    © Cancer Council NSW 2012


    Chemotherapy for lung cancer


    Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs. The aim of chemotherapy is to kill cancer cells while doing the least possible damage to healthy cells.

    Chemotherapy is commonly given to patients whose cancer is large or has spread outside the lungs. It may be given:

    • before surgery, to try to shrink the cancer and make the operation easier
    • before radiotherapy or during radiotherapy (chemoradiation), to increase the chance of the radiotherapy working
    • after surgery, to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back
    • as palliative treatment, to reduce symptoms, improve your quality of life or extend your life.

    Generally, chemotherapy is administered intravenously through a drip or a plastic catheter (tube) inserted into a vein in your arm, hand or chest. Some types of chemotherapy are given orally (that is in tablet form).

    Chemotherapy is given in cycles that typically last three weeks each. Intravenous chemotherapy may be given for a few days. The rest of the time is a break from treatment. The number of treatments you have will depend on the type of lung cancer you have and how well your body is handling the side effects.


    Cancer Council NSW

    Information extracted from the Cancer Council NSW website and reproduced with permission.

    http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/78504/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/types-of-treatment/chemotherapy-for-lung-cancer/?pp=33318&cc=254&ct=13

    © Cancer Council NSW 2012


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“Excellence in Care”

The provision of excellent care to Riverina Cancer Care Centre (RCCC) patients is achieved by Centre staff and Volunteers’ participation in and observance of the Centre’s Quality system in the performance of their roles. Cooperation, collaboration, communication and mutual respect are critical to provision of excellent care.

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