Lung Cancer


Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Cancer Services

The Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's Cancer Unit is part of the Mount Vernon Cancer Network.  The Network covers a geographical area from North London to mid-Bedfordshire, west to Buckinghamshire and east to Hertfordshire, providing services to a population of two million people.  The Mount Vernon Hospital Cancer Centre provides specialist care, including radiotherapy and complex chemotherapy, with the local Cancer Units and the Primary Care Trusts providing routine and on-going care, including chemotherapy.

Oncology services are provided by consultant staff from Mount Vernon, taking part in combined clinics with the Luton and Dunstable hospital staff.

To access the service please visit your GP

The lead clinician for cancer services is Mr. Mike Pittam, Consultant Surgeon.

Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings for all tumour sites are held on a regular basis, mostly weekly, to discuss newly diagnosed or suspected cancer patients.  Some MDT meetings participate in video-conferencing with other Network Teams to encourage wider discussion and input to the patient pathway.  The MDT Office can be contacted on either: 01582 718 268 or 01582 718 099.

LUNG Clinics

  • Cancer chest (Dr J Ramsay) (Dr P Pillai)
  • Oncology
  • Bronchoscopy sessions (Dr J Ramsay) (Dr P Pillai)
  • Thoracic Surgeon clinic (fortnightly)
  • 6 Booked CT slots per week

Useful Numbers

Name, Telephone, Fax
Dr J Ramsay 01582 497236 01582 497237
Dr P Pillai 01582 497083 01582 718073
Sue Gauntlett [CNS] 01582 497153 bleep 139

Who to Refer

Immediate Referral - an acute admission or referral occurring within a few hours, or even more quickly if necessary

Consider immediate referral for patients with:

  • Signs of superior vena caval obstruction (swelling of the face/neck with fixed elevation of jugular venous pressure)
  • Stridor

Urgent referral within 2 weeks (under 2 week rule)

Refer urgently patients with:

  • Persistent haemoptysis (in smokers or ex-smokers aged 40 years and older)
  • A chest X-ray suggestive of lung cancer (including pleural effusion and slowly resolving consolidation)
  • A normal X-ray where there is a high suspicion of lung cancer
  • A history of asbestos exposure and recent onset of chest pain, shortness of breath or unexplained systemic symptoms where a chest X-ray indicates pleural effusion, pleural mass or any suspicious lung pathology

Urgent chest X-ray

Refer urgently for Chest X-ray (the report should be returned within 5 days) for patients with any of the following:

  • Haemoptysis
  • Unexplained or persistent (longer than 3 weeks)
    • Chest and/or shoulder pain
    • Dyspnoea
    • Weight loss
    • Chest signs
    • Hoarseness
    • Finger clubbing
    • Cervical or supraclavicular lymphadenopathy
    • Cough
    • Features suggestive of metastasis from a lung cancer (for example, secondaries in the brain, bone, liver, skin)
  • Underlying chronic respiratory problems with unexplained changes in existing symptoms

Risk Factors

The following patients have a high risk of developing lung cancer:

  • All current or ex-smokers
  • Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Patients who have been exposed to asbestos
  • People with a previous history of cancer (especially head and neck)

An urgent referral for a chest X-ray or to a specialist can be considered sooner in these patients (for example, if signs and symptoms have lasted less than 3 weeks)

Macmillan Cancer Support Rapid Referral Guidelines

Macmillan Cancer Support Rapid Referral Guidelines

Please note: when seeking/receiving advice in regard to patient care and making referrals, NHS Connecting for Health Information Governance standards and policies must be adhered to.


Map of Medicine Patient Pathway

Map of medicine - suspected lung cancer

NICE Guidelines

Website Resources

Cancer Network

Patient Information Leaflets

Patient information leaflet - Two Week Wait

Macmillan Cancer Support at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Getting to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Last updated: 20/06/2013

Update due: 20/06/2014