Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Australia. It is often diagnosed late because symptoms can be vague or there may be no symptoms experienced in the early stages of the disease.

Fortunately, the landscape for the management of lung cancer is changing rapidly with advances in research and technological developments bringing new hope through novel screening, diagnostic and treatment approaches. However, the experience of patients with lung cancer is one of a forgotten disease characterised by low public awareness and negative stereotypes. This contributes to delays in diagnosis, lack of support systems and inequitable access to best practice and new treatment approaches.

In particular, stigma towards people with lung cancer plays a major role in delays to diagnosis. Health professionals need to be aware of the symptoms of lung disease and the increasing trend of people presenting both with and without smoking as a risk factor. Making assumptions about a diagnosis based only on the presence of risk factors, such as smoking, causes delays in diagnosis and can affect patient health and well-being.

Lung Foundation Australia provides a range of evidence-based resources and initiatives to support early diagnosis and best practice treatment and management of lung cancer.

Holistic care: supporting MDTs

Cancer Australia guidelines highlight the importance of rapid referral of patients with suspected or proven lung cancer to a hospital and specialist linked with a lung cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) service.

The MDT approach is best-practice care in cancer management and has been shown to improve survival rates and patient satisfaction while delivering quality care in line with evidence-based guidelines. The MDT approach also provides coordination of care and provision of information and support for patients.

Lung Foundation Australia’s directory of dedicated lung cancer MDTs enables a referring clinician to locate lung cancer MDTs and provides their contact details for information about the referral pathways.

Australia New Zealand Lung Cancer Nurses Forum

The Australia New Zealand Lung Cancer Nurses Forum (ANZ-LCNF) is a group of passionate nurses with a common focus of improving patient care, health care delivery and outcomes for lung cancer patients, their families and carers.

Lung Cancer Consultative Group

The Lung Cancer Consultative Group of Lung Foundation Australia is a multidisciplinary group of lung cancer health professionals and patients that provide strategic advice and guidance on lung cancer initiatives and activities.

Clinical Newsletter
Sign up to our Clinical email newsletter and stay up to date with the latest in respiratory news, events and resources.