Clinical guidelines and guidance material for GPs

New clinical guidelines for lung cancer treatment

New Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Lung Cancer have been developed and will support the uptake of best-practice in the treatment of lung cancer through the provision of up-to-date evidence-based guidance, assisting health professionals and their patients to make informed treatment choices based on the most current research available

The guidelines were commissioned and co-funded by Cancer Australia and developed by Cancer Council Australia with a multidisciplinary working party of clinicians from a range of specialties including respiratory medicine, thoracic surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and palliative care. 

The new guidelines reflect a revision to the treatment section of the first Australian evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and management of lung cancer, which were developed in 2004. The scope of the current revision was limited to the treatment of non-small cell and small cell lung cancer (chapters 5 and 6 respectively of the 2004 version), supportive care and palliative care (chapters 4, 7 and 8).

Unlike the 2004 guidelines, in which the content was set out according to treatment modality, the working party has organised the clinical questions in the revised guidelines according to disease stage. This acknowledges the importance of disease stage for clinical decision making. The clinical questions on palliative care were prepared separately since it is accepted that referral to palliative care can be appropriate at any stage of the disease.

The new Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Lung Cancer have been published in an electronic ‘wiki’ format to enable rapid review of clinical recommendations, in order to reflect the most recent scientific evidence as it becomes available. 

The new Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Lung Cancer guidelines are available online on Cancer Council Australia’s Cancer Guidelines Wiki:

Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for general practitioners

The symptoms of lung cancer are often vague and can be very similar to other chronic lung conditions. This fact, when coupled with the fact that a GP sees only a very few people per year with lung cancer makes it difficult for GPs to appropriately identify people who may have lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed invasive cancer in Australia and the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.  Symptoms of lung cancer can often be non-specific thereby hindering early diagnosis and treatment.  Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for GPs was developed to assist GPs to manage people who have or may have lung cancer and support the early and rapid referral into the cancer care pathway.

See also - Evidence relevant to the guide for the investigation of symptoms of lung cancer.

Investigating the symptoms of lung cancer - a Qstream course for GPs

Cancer Australia is delivering a new online lung cancer course for health professionals (GPs and nurses) via the Qstream online learning platform.  It will be of interest to health professionals who want to know more about lung cancer signs and symptoms and the key strategies for promoting early diagnosis and referral of patients who have or may have lung cancer.

Cancer Australia has developed the course based on Investigating symptoms of lung cancer: a guide for GPs (the Guide). The course is one component of a multifaceted suite of implementation activities being developed by Cancer Australia to increase uptake of the key recommendations in the Guide, including an RACGP accredited Active Learning Module.

Investigating the symptoms of lung cancer - a Qstream course for GPs  has been developed by Cancer Australia with a multidisciplinary group of lung cancer experts and provides evidence-based professional development opportunities that are accredited by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and The Australian College of Nursing.

Cancer Australia has commissioned the Workforce Education and Development Group, at The University of Sydney to implement and evaluate the course via the Qstream online learning platform. Qstream is a flexible method of online education designed to allow learners, and educators to harness the benefits of spaced education, which consists of spacing and repeating material over time to improve learning retention. Participants can receive and answer questions via their email, Facebook page or text messaging service.

Participants are invited to enrol in the courses and also register to take part in the evaluation, which will assist Cancer Australia to continue to assess the benefits of Qstream in the delivery of flexible online professional development.

Enrolment in the Qstream course requires a few minutes every few days to answer one or two clinical case-based questions over a period of approximately six weeks.

Lung cancer audio-visual resources on Lung Cancer

Click on the links below to view the following audio-resources found on YouTube: