Getting diagnosed with lung cancer

You usually start by seeing your GP if you have symptoms that could be due to lung cancer. They will ask you about your general health and may also examine you. Your doctor will then decide whether to do tests or refer you to a specialist.

Or you might be referred to a specialist and further tests if screening for lung cancer or a lung health check showed that you might have lung cancer.

Seeing your GP when you have symptoms of lung cancer

See your GP if you notice a change that isn't normal for you or if you have any of the possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer.

Referral to a specialist for symptoms of lung cancer

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist or have tests if you have symptoms that could be due to lung cancer.

Screening for lung cancer

In the UK, the National Screening Committee recommends that people at high risk of lung cancer are invited to screening. This is called targeted lung cancer screening.

Lung Health Checks

The NHS offers Lung Health Checks in some areas of England. This is gradually increasing and the aim is that the programme will cover all areas of England from 2024 onwards.

Tests for lung cancer

Your GP or specialist might arrange for you to have tests. You usually have a chest x-ray, CT scan and PET-CT scan to diagnose lung cancer. You might also have a bronchoscopy and biopsy.

Last reviewed: 
12 Dec 2022
Next review due: 
12 Dec 2025
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