We see our patients with suspected lung cancer within two weeks of referral from a GP.
Lung Cancer Nursing Team
The lung cancer nurses offer a hospital based service to patients who are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
We offer support and information for patients and those close to them about the investigations that may have to be undertaken. Most investigations can be done on an outpatient basis returning to clinic for the diagnosis.
We continue to be contactable through and beyond treatment.
We are contactable on the numbers and email below whether you are in hospital or at home.
We work closely with the respiratory, oncology and palliative care teams within the hospital and have close ties with the community services and are supported by two MDT coordinators.
If you are unsure who to contact by email you can contact the team directly by email also.
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital: 0300 422 5967
Cheltenham General Hospital: 0300 422 2379
Investigations and diagnosis
Most patients are referred to the lung cancer service because they have had an abnormality detected on a chest x-ray. To investigate this further we may perform the following:
- CT scan. This is a scan of the chest using x-rays which gives very detailed pictures of the inside of the chest
- PET scan. This is like a CT scan but an injection of specially-labelled glucose is given. The test provides more information about the activity of tissues within the body and lights up abnormal areas
- Biopsy. This is a procedure to obtain a sample of tissue which can then be examined under a microscope
- Bronchoscopy / Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS). This is an examination of the inside of the lungs with a flexible telescope. It is usually done as a day case procedure. you will have a sedative injection and can expect to be asleep during the procedure. Biopsies can be taken from inside the chest and lungs during a bronchoscopy or EBUS
- CT or ultrasound-guided biopsy. A CT or ultrasound scan is used to accurately direct a needle into an abnormality in the chest, neck or elsewhere in the body to obtain a tissue sample. This is done under local anaesthetic to numb the skin
- Pleural aspiration. Sometimes fluid can collect within the chest cavity and this can be drained or sampled with a needle and syringe.
Most people will have a CT scan of the chest and we often try to arrange this before the first clinic appointment. At your first clinic appointment you will have the opportunity to meet one of our lung cancer specialist nurses and the doctor will explain the results of your X-rays and talk through what to expect in terms of further investigations. This may include scans, breathing tests and a procedure to take a tissue sample, called a biopsy.
Your lung cancer nurse is there to support you through this time and can be contacted if you have any concerns or questions. Once you have had all the necessary investigations you will be seen again in clinic to discuss the results. Only a minority of people referred to the suspected lung cancer service will end up having lung cancer. For those who do turn out to have lung cancer we provide support and will also talk to you about possible treatments.
More information about the investigation, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer can be found at:
Urgent outpatient appointments for patients with suspected lung cancer are provided at Gloucestershire Royal (GRH) and Cheltenham General Hospitals (CGH). Some investigations, including CT scans and bronchoscopy, are available at GRH and CGH, but other more specialized investigations are located on one site only and you therefore may need to travel further for these tests.
The Oncology Centre is located at Cheltenham General Hospital and provides chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for people with lung cancer. Surgical treatments for lung cancer are provided in Bristol and Birmingham.
How to refer
Patients with suspected lung cancer should be referred using the 2WW urgent suspected lung cancer form. Please include information on performance status, a recent creatinine level and anticoagulation use as this helps us to pre-arrange appropriate tests in a timely manner. Patients should be made aware that they are being referred to a suspected lung cancer service at the time of referral.
For advice about a patient with suspected lung cancer then Dr Steer or Dr Slade can be contacted via their secretary or via email.