Lung cancers and mesothelioma
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer.
It is the fourth most common cancer among men in Northern Ireland and the third most common among women.
There are two main types of primary lung cancer:
Other less common types of lung cancer are:
If your GP suspects you may have lung cancer, you will be referred to one of the hospitals in Belfast Trust.
You will then be contacted about an appointment.
You may be seen at the specialist lung clinic, which takes place in Belfast City Hospital Respiratory Clinic. This is located on the ground floor of the Tower at the City Hospital.
- Investigations and diagnosis
The Lung Cancer Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) meets every week to discuss diagnosis and treatment plans for patients with lung cancer.
The team includes:
- chest physicians (also known as respiratory doctors)
- thoracic surgeons
- medical oncologists
- clinical oncologists
- clinical nurse specialists
- palliative care specialists
- admin staff
The relevant specialists have detailed discussions and look at the available results for each patient. This ensures the best treatment plan is offered to each patient.
A copy of any discussions will be sent to the patient’s GP.
Full details on the treatment options for lung cancer are available here.
Surgery may be the most appropriate treatment for patients with localised lung cancer.
Surgery to remove the cancer is a major operation and it will take a number of weeks to recover from it.
Macmillan has detailed information on lung cancer surgery.
Patients having surgery may be asked to meet one of our medical team for a pre-assessment to ensure they are fit for the procedure.
In some cases, patients are asked to have an anaesthetic assessment. This may require an overnight stay.
You will be asked to sign a consent form before treatment. No medical treatment can be given without patient consent.
It is important that you read and understand this form before signing it.
Macmillan has information on how to cope after lung cancer treatment.
It’s important to have a nutritious and well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, even if your appetite and interest in food has been reduced by treatment.
Our dieticians can advise you on eating well and answer any questions you have.
If you are having chemotherapy, it is important that you do not take vitamin supplements without discussing it with your oncologist.
If you are a smoker, you should try to quit.
Many patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma benefit from the additional symptom control advice of our palliative care team. Symptoms include:
- coughing up blood
- poor appetite
If you have any of these symptoms, the team can use drugs or other treatments to help.
Working with local healthcare teams, our purpose is to ensure the best possible quality of life for patients.
After your treatment is complete, you will have regular check-ups. These are very important for the surgeon or oncologist to monitor your progress.
You may have x-rays from time to time, but the most important part will be the examination of your lungs.
If you have any problems or notice any new symptoms in between review appointments, contact your GP or specialist nurse as soon as possible. They can arrange a more urgent review.
- Useful links