Important information

A person with a suspected lung cancer should be referred to a specialist who is a member of a relevant multidisciplinary team. 

All specialists listed on Canrefer are members of a multidisciplinary team.


What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is cancer that can starts in any part the cells of the lungs. The most common types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Graphic of a human body highlighting the lungs


What tests are needed?

Common tests used to diagnose lung cancer include:

  • physical examination
  • blood tests
  • imaging - chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI scan and PET scan
  • bronchoscopy
  • endobronchial ultrasound
  • mediastinoscopy
  • biopsy.


What treatment options are there?

Treatment for lung cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • radiotherapy.

If treatment is specialised and complex, patients may need to travel to have a part of their treatment. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this.


How common is lung cancer in NSW?

Lung cancer was diagnosed in:

  • 2014
    3739 people in NSW
  • 2013
    3836 people in NSW
  • 2012
    3813 people in NSW

Data Source: Annual NSW cancer incidence and mortality dataset, 2014 (sourced from the NSW Cancer Registry)