Cancer information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People

Lung cancer

If lung cancer is found and treated early, you have a good chance of getting better.

What is lung cancer?

  • Lung cancer is a growth that starts in the tissue of one or both of the lungs.
  • There are different types of lung cancer depending on which cells are affected:
    • non-small cell lung cancer (most common)
    • small cell lung cancer (less common).

How will I know I have lung cancer?

You can have lung cancer without noticing anything is wrong. Warning signs may include:

  • new cough or change in a cough you’ve had for a long time
  • feeling out of breath
  • pain in the chest when coughing or taking a deep breath
  • coughing or spitting up blood.

If you have any of these problems, see your doctor. You will have some tests to work out if you have lung cancer.

What do the test results mean?

The test results will tell the doctor what type of lung cancer you have, and if the cancer has spread (the stage). This information helps the doctors decide what treatment you need. lungs and respiratory system

What treatment will I need?

There are different types of treatment for lung cancer. You may have one or more of these treatments:

  • Surgery – removes the affected part of the lung (lobectomy) or an entire lung (pneumonectomy)
  • Chemotherapy – uses drugs to kill or injure the cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy – uses x-rays to kill or injure cancer cells

How will the treatment affect my body?

Surgery for lung cancer can cause pain and some trouble breathing. Your doctor or nurse will talk to you about how to cope at home. After chemotherapy or radiotherapy, some people feeling like vomiting or are sick. Your mouth might feel sore and you may lose your hair.

How do I manage the cancer?

It is normal for you and your family to have lots of different feelings right now. Talking with your doctor, nurse or health care professional will help answer any questions you may have. Depending on where you live, you might need to travel for treatment. You can get help to pay for travel and accommodation.