Lung cancers are tumours that usually first appear in the lining of the bronchi or bronchioles. These are the small tubes in the lungs that breath passes through. As the tumours enlarge they can block off the bronchi and make breathing difficult.
They commonly spread into the local lymph nodes and occasionally the chest wall. This reduces the airways capacity leading to shortness of breath and coughing.
Most forms of lung cancer will spread, most often into the local lymph nodes and occasionally the chest wall.
Two common kinds of lung cancer can grow so fast that they often spread to other parts of the body before they can be found and treated. These kinds of cancers make up almost one third of all cases. Some forms grow slowly, and can often be found and treated before they spread outside the lungs. Some rarely spread at all, but those make up a very small portion of all lung cancer cases.
All types of lung cancer are aggravated by smoking and make treatment more difficult.
The Cancer Society is a valuable resource for lung cancer patients, which you can scroll down to download.
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The Patient Pathway
First Specialist Appointment
At the first specialist appointment you will meet with your specialist radiation oncologist (RO) to discuss the proposed radiotherapy treatment approach and answer any questions and concerns you may have.
At the orientation appointment a patient care specialist (nurse or radiation therapist) will explain the procedures in more detail and answer any concerns that you might have about ARO or your treatment.
Before starting treatment, you will attend a simulation appointment to work out the optimal body position for receiving treatment and provide a detailed picture of the area to be treated.
First Day of Treatment
You’ll need to arrive 10-15 minutes before your allocated treatment time so that we can greet you and to give you time to get changed for your treatment. Please bring an extra layer of clothing (e.g. cardigan or jacket) just in case you feel cold while you wait in the treatment reception area. Please report to the ARO reception desk. For free parking please refer to the information below. See location and parking for more information.
Weekly reviews with your radiation oncologist or one of our patient care team will be conducted to monitor any side effects and provide on-going support and advice as required.
Last Week of Treatment
An appointment will be scheduled for you to meet with a member of our patient care team to ensure appropriate care is organised after your last treatment visit. This may include regular monitoring of blood results, appointments for dressings and management of side effects.
Usually 2-6 weeks after your last treatment visit you will meet with your radiation oncologist or the doctor that referred you to ARO. Your GP will also be sent a report about your treatment and will continue to provide for your general health needs. You are welcome to contact our patient care team to answer questions or concerns that you may have about your treatment or possible side effects up to 2 weeks following your last treatment visit. Please telephone our nurses on 09 623 6585, email email@example.com or make an appointment during business hours. Should you require support after 2 weeks, please contact the ARO Specialist Centre on phone 09 623 6587 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other health concerns, please contact your GP, usual healthcare provider or local emergency facility.