Lung Cancer

About the condition

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Around 44,500 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. Lung cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way to form a tumour in the lung.


Signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • A new cough that doesn’t go away
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Bone pain
  • Headache

Less common symptoms of advanced lung cancer include:

  • Finding difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in the shape of your fingers and nails
  • Swelling of the face and neck
  • Pain under your ribs on your right side
  • Shortness of breath

If any of these symptoms apply to you, or if you have any concerns about similar symptoms, it is essential that you see your doctor at once, as your chances of recovery are much higher if your cancer is diagnosed early. Alternatively you can book an appointment with one of our specialists by completing this form online or by calling 020 8247 3351.


If you’re referred to CCL for diagnosis, your consultant or oncologist will advise you on which tests are relevant to your individual symptoms. Diagnosing lung cancer involves a range of examinations and tests, some of which may involve a short stay in hospital. Diagnostic tests for lung cancer include:

  • An X-ray
  • A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan
  • MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • PET – Positron Emission Tomography
  • A bronchoscopy, during which a small tube is inserted through your mouth or nose to allow your doctor to look inside the airways of your lungs
  • Sputum cytology, where a sample of your phlegm is taken and tested for cancer
  • A biopsy, where cell samples are taken for examination for signs of cancer
  • A thoracoscopy, which involves a tube being inserted into your chest to take tissue and fluid samples, usually done under general anaesthetic


At CCL, patients with lung cancer are treated by a specialist multidisciplinary team. This team works together to create a treatment plan to suit the individual needs of the patient.

The type of treatment you will receive for lung cancer depends on several factors, including the type of lung cancer you have, the size and position of the cancer and how far advanced your cancer is. Options include:

  • Surgery
    • A wedge resection removes a portion of the lung that includes the tumor
    • A lobectomy involves removing a lobe of the lung.
    • A pneumonectomy involves removal of an entire lung

Surgical treatments of lung cancer can include thoracic surgery, which would be performed at an alternative hospital.

Treatment following surgery is usually carried out at CCL. These options include:

  • Radiotherapy, where high-energy rays are used to destroy the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy, where chemical agents are used to destroy and prevent cancer cells from spreading to different areas.

Support Services

At CCL we provide support that caters to both the physical and emotional needs of the patient, before, during and after treatment.

We can help by addressing many of the physical side effects of lung cancer including decreased mobility and exercise tolerance and weakness through education, management strategies, walking aids and strengthening exercises/classes. Breathing exercises and techniques are used to treat respiratory difficulties and pulmonary rehabilitation programmes devised to improve the cardiovascular fitness.

We offer a wide range of services for patients, as well as their loved ones, designed to make a very difficult time as easy as possible, and to give our patients the best treatment and support possible. Our support services include counselling, group sessions and much more. You can find the full range of our support services here. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Book now

If you have any questions about cancer or would like to book an appointment with one of our specialists, complete this form online or call 020 8247 3351.

Lung Cancer Consultants


Cancer Centre London

Parkside Hospital

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