Diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage leads to better outcomes for patients, however diagnosis can be challenging. Symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath are often non-specific, and imaging results are not always definitive.
General practitioners play a key role in identifying lung cancer, as the majority of patients first present to primary care settings. In the three months leading to diagnosis, patients will often see a GP four or more times before a diagnosis of lung cancer is made.
Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for all health professionals is designed to assist general practitioners to investigate symptomatic people with suspected lung cancer and support their early and rapid referral into the multidisciplinary diagnostic pathway.
The guide provides a systematic, step-by-step approach to identify the most appropriate course of action for symptomatic patients that reflects current, high-quality best-practice evidence.
The guide highlights recommendations for appropriate investigation and optimal referral timeframes, because timeliness is critical in the diagnosis of lung cancer.