Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK. In the early stages, there are often no signs. As lung cancer grows symptoms develop such as a persistent cough, breathlessness and unexplained weight loss and these should be checked out.
Most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, although people who have never smoked can also develop it.
Ramsay Health Care UK offers you rapid and convenient appointments to expert lung cancer specialists and a comprehensive range of diagnostic tests to investigate if you have lung cancer with a fast turnaround for results to put your mind at rest or arrange your treatment as soon as possible.
Being diagnosed with lung cancer can be distressing for you and your family. We provide on-site and virtual support by an expert multi-disciplinary team of specialists.
Patient safety is our primary concern throughout your visits to our hospitals and you can rest-assured that we are delivering the best care whilst adhering to strict protocols to prevent the risk of infection.
Lung cancer occurs when cells in your lung change and start to grow uncontrollably to form a tumour.
Primary lung cancer begins in your lungs and secondary lung cancer starts in another part of your body and spreads to your lungs.
There are two main types of primary lung cancer:
Anyone can develop lung cancer, but a large majority of cases occur in people who smoke or who used to smoke. Breathing in other people’s smoke over a long period can also increase your risk of lung cancer. Lung cancer is more common as you get older. Exposure to radon, a natural radioactive gas, or some other chemicals and substances through occupational exposure and pollution, such as asbestos, can also increase your risk.
In early lung cancer you may not have any symptoms.
The most common symptoms of lung cancer include:
If you have lung cancer symptoms you should see your doctor. Lung cancer screening usually begins with a chest X-ray as the first assessment to check for lung cancer. If this shows signs of lung cancer you will be referred to a specialist in chest disease who can arrange more investigative tests to determine if you have lung cancer, what type it is, and how much it has spread.
Diagnostic tests for lung cancer include:
Once the diagnostic tests have been completed, your specialist should know the stage of your cancer, what treatment to recommend, and if it is possible to completely cure your cancer.
Your lung cancer treatment will depend on several factors, including the type of lung cancer you have, the size and position of your cancer, the stage of advancement of your cancer, and your general health.
Lung cancer treatments include:
Non-small-cell lung cancer treatment
Surgery is normally performed to remove the cancerous cells if your NSCLC is only in one of your lungs and you are in good health. Chemotherapy may follow to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
Radiotherapy may be offered to destroy your cancer cells if cancer has not spread far but surgery is not possible, perhaps due to your health. Sometimes radiotherapy is combined with chemotherapy and is called chemoradiotherapy.
Chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy is usually recommended if your cancer has spread and surgery or radiotherapy would not be effective. If cancer restarts after chemotherapy treatment you may have another course of treatment.
Biological or targeted therapy may be recommended to control or to stop the growth of your cancer if it has a specific mutation.
Radiofrequency ablation may be used to treat non-small-cell lung cancer at an early stage.
Cryotherapy can be used if cancer starts to block your airways.
Photodynamic therapy may be used to treat early-stage lung cancer if surgery is not an option, or to remove a tumour that's blocking the airways.
Small-cell lung cancer treatment
Chemotherapy is the usual treatment for SCLC, either on its own or in combination with radiotherapy, to help prolong life and relieve symptoms.
Surgery may be an option if the SCLC is found early and might be followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy to reduce the risk of the returning cancer. It is not usually used to treat SCLC as this cancer often spreads to other areas of the body before diagnosis.
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