Read about how treatment decisions for lung cancer are made, as well as who will be on your treatment team and how to get a second opinion.

Download the whole lung cancer booklet

Our new booklet 'Understanding lung cancer' is available now.

Understanding Lung Cancer booklet 2022
Final lung cancer booklet cover image v5

Download Section Four of our lung cancer booklet: Making treatment decisions

  • The treatment choices you are offered will be based on all the information available about the cancer and your general health. The recommended treatment will depend on:
    • the type of lung cancer and its stage
    • your general health
    • how well you can breathe
    • your personal wishes and goals of care
  • You will be cared for by a team of health professionals that may include:
    • your GP or whānau doctor
    • oncology nurses and cancer care coordinators
    • a respiratory doctor
    • a surgeon
    • a medical oncologist
    • a radiation oncologist
    • a palliative care team
    • other allied health professionals.
  • You can ask another doctor for a second opinion about your cancer or
    treatment options if you want to.

  • Ka hāngai ngā kōwhiringa maimoa ka hoaturia ki a koe i runga i ngā pārongo katoa e wātea ana mō tō matepukupuku me tō hauora whānui.
  • Ka whakawhirinaki te maimoa ka taunakitia ki ēnei:
    • te momo matepukupuku pūkahukahu me tōna whakawāhanga
    • tō hauora whānui
    • te āhua o te whakahā
    •  ōu ake wawata whaiaro me ōu ake whāinga manaakitanga
  • Ka tautāwhina koe e tētahi rōpū ngaio hauora, tae noa ki ēnei pea:
    • tō tākuta whānau
    • Ngā tapuhi mātai matepukupuku me ngā kaitakawaenga manaakitanga
    • he tākuta romahā
    • tētahi mātanga kokoti
    • He mātanga mātai matepukupuku
    • he mātanga mātai matepukupuku iraruke
    • ētahi atu ngaio hauora haumi.
  • E āhei ana koe ki te uiui i tētahi atu tākuta mō he whakaaro tuarua e pā ana ki tō matepukupuku, ki ngā kōwhiringa maimoa rānei, mehemea ka pīrangi koe.
Making treatment decisions

How treatment decisions are made

The treatment choices you are offered will be based on all the information available about your cancer and your general health.

Recommendations will depend on:

  • the type of lung cancer and its stage
  • your general health
  • how well you can breathe
  • your personal wishes and goals of care

Your treatment team

From the time you are diagnosed with lung cancer, you will be cared for by a team of health professionals.

These may include:

  • Your GP or whānau doctor
  • Oncology nurses and cancer care coordinators
  • A respiratory doctor
  • A surgeon
  • A medical oncologist
  • A radiation oncologist
  • A palliative care team

Other members of your treatment team

Your treatment team may also include a social worker, psychologist, dietitian, physiotherapist, practice nurse, community health nurse, pharmacist, occupational therapist or palliative care specialist.

Talking to your cancer treatment team

Asking the right questions

When you first learn you have lung cancer, you may have many questions.

We suggest you think about the questions you would like your cancer treatment team to answer and how much detail you are comfortable with. It can be helpful to have a support person present.

Asking for a second opinion

You can ask your cancer doctor or GP to refer you to another cancer doctor to get a second opinion if you want one.

Your rights

Your rights as a health and disability service consumer are protected by the Health and Disability Commission’s Code of Rights. You also have the right to have an interpreter present during all medical consultations.

Read about the Health and Disability Commission's Code of Rights

Talking to others and coping with waiting

You may want to discuss your treatment options with your whānau and friends, specialist nurses, your GP or whānau doctor, the Cancer Society, or a hospital social worker or spiritual advisor.

If you are finding the waiting difficult for receiving your diagnosis and starting treatment, contact your GP or cancer nurse coordinator.

Find out more about coping with waiting

Taking part in a clinical trial

There are many new and emerging treatments for cancer. Clinical trials are a vital part of the search to find better cancer treatments.

  • Clinical trials test new and modified treatments to see if they are better than existing treatments.
  • In randomised clinical trials, you will receive either the standard treatment currently available or the new treatment being tested.
  • Not all treatments tested in trials turn out to be helpful.
  • Make sure you fully understand the reasons for the trial and what it means for you – it is your decision if you take part.
Last updated: May 27, 2022