What is it?
Lung cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the lungs. In Australia, more people die of lung cancer than any other cancer. Most of the time, lung cancer is linked with smoking – though non-smokers can also get it.
If you or someone you know has lung cancer, quitting smoking is important at any stage.
What will my GP do now?
Your GP will talk to you about your diagnosis and next steps. You will need to see a specialist for treatment. Your GP will arrange your referral in the next 2 weeks.
You may also need care from a group of different types of health professionals. This is called multi-disciplinary care. Your GP can arrange a referral for a lung cancer multidisciplinary team.
Your GP will also:
- Help you quit smoking – and give you resources to help
- Talk to you about your results
- Take or arrange more tests
- Give you support to help you cope – this can be a stressful time for patients, carers and families, but there is plenty of help available
- Coach you on healthy lifestyle choices – like drinking less and eating well
What will my GP do in the future?
Your GP will see you often for follow-up checks. At these check-ups, you’ll talk about your symptoms and supports. This process is part of your multi-disciplinary care.
Your GP will help you understand more about your disease, including how likely it is that the cancer could spread or come back in the future.
It is important to talk to your GP about how you’re feeling. You can discuss your emotions, treatments, long-term issues and general state. If you need extra support, ask for a referral for a local counselling service.
What can I do?
Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important steps to take right now. Some of the things that you can do are:
- Quit smoking
- Drink less alcohol
- Eat a healthy diet
- Try to be as active as possible
- Follow your medical team’s advice
- See your GP regularly
- Access local support services
- Ask for resources to help you cope