When cancer develops in the lungs, the cells change and grow in an abnormal way.
Cancer that begins in the lungs is known as primary lung cancer. Cancer that begins in another part of the body before spreading to the lungs is known as secondary lung cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Ireland and has the highest mortality rate of any other cancer.

There are two main types of primary lung cancer, which are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts. These are:

  • non-small cell lung cancer (Most common lung cancer)
  • small cell lung cancer (Less common & often more aggressive)

If you are worried about any symptoms that may relate to your lungs, first visit your GP. If your doctor has concerns about you, he or she will refer you for a chest x-ray.
An X-ray of your chest can give your doctor a good idea if there is anything abnormal about your lungs and help them decide whether or not you need to be referred to a rapid access lung clinic or a Respiratory Physician.

Symptoms may include but not limited to:

  • A persistent cough
  • A change in cough that has been ongoing
  • Breathlessness
  • Sudden/unexplained weight loss
  • Chest pain, often made worse when breathing heavily or coughing
  • Coughing up blood stained phlegm

Diagnosing lung cancer

Common tests carried out to help diagnose a patient may include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT Scan
  • Percutaneous fine needle biopsy
  • PET scan
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Bone scan
  • Bloods tests

Surgical treatment for lung cancer

Your recommended treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of your lung cancer.
In early stage lung cancer, it may be possible to achieve a complete cure by surgically removing the cancer.
In cases of small cell lung cancer, surgery is generally not indicated and treatment usually includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy .

For more information on the surgeries carried out for Lung cancer treatment, please click on the below:

Thoracic Surgery Ireland