Suspected lung cancer: its initial management and staging.
- Disease management
Lung cancer has traditionally been viewed as being difficult to treat and generally associated with a poor outcome. With new advances in technology and medicine in general, the public has come to expect a better prognosis from lung cancer. Once a patient has been referred with suspected lung cancer, it is important to confirm the diagnosis and to stage the cancer; in this way, one can ascertain whether or not the cancer is potentially operable. By providing definitive surgery, the aim is to cure the patient of cancer. The role of staging extends beyond that of merely directing appropriate therapy or determining the patient pathway (be it supportive, palliative or curative); it also has prognostic implications including the likelihood of survival from lung cancer.