Important information

The management of lung cancer can be complex, especially for people who require surgery.

A person with a suspected lung cancer should be referred to a specialist who is a member of a lung cancer multidisciplinary team and practices at a specialist centre.

Specialist centres

The management of lung cancer requires a team of health care professionals with experience in lung cancer (including surgery) and the availability of adequate supportive care following surgery.

Even if surgery does not seem likely at the time of referral, early involvement of a multidisciplinary team is recommended to ensure optimal assessment, care, and outcomes.

Specialist centres for lung cancer are: 

Some patients may need to travel out of area to be treated at a specialist centre. The local health district will have an arrangement in place for this. For more detailed information about specialist centres, see Optimising cancer care on the Cancer Institute NSW website.


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.


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)

Last updated: 08 October 2018