Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Referral of Suspected Lung Cancer

This is a clinical practice guideline for the investigation and diagnosis of suspected lung cancer and referral for treatment, particularly for patients residing in Nova Scotia. The guideline reviews the investigation process from initial presentation to treatment referral. Topics include principles of communication between patient-provider and among providers throughout the diagnostic process, standards for initial investigation, appropriate use of imaging (CT, MRI, PET, bone scan) and biopsy and laboratory testing, as well as recommendations regarding treatment referral upon diagnosis. Referrals to diagnostic specialists (thoracic surgery or respirology) and to psychosocial and supportive care are also reviewed.