Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer death in New Zealand – largely because it is often detected late, when the disease is very advanced and has spread to other parts of the body.

People can survive lung cancer if it is caught early.

Symptoms include:

  • a persistent, worsening cough
  • coughing up excessive phlegm with blood
  • chest pain with coughing or breathing
  • recurring chest infections.

Related websites

Lung Foundation New Zealand
The Lung Foundation aim to promote awareness of lung disease. They provide information and support to those affected by lung cancer.

Cancer Society
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country’s largest source of information about cancer and its effects. They provides information on types of cancer, diagnosis, methods of treatment and advice on living with cancer.

Midland Cancer Network early detection campaign
Informaton on the Midland Cancer Network ‘cough, cough, cough’ campaign, to raise awareness of lung cancer and the benefit of early detection.

Better Health Channel
The Better Health Channel was established in May 1999 by the Victorian (Australia) State Government. It provides a wide range of health and medical information on conditions including cancer.

The Quit Group
The Quit Group is a charitable trust funded by the Ministry of Health to run quit smoking programmes in New Zealand, including the national free telephone support Quitline (Ph: 0800 778 778).

Action on Smoking and Health – ASH
ASH New Zealand was founded in 1982 by concerned health professionals and is committed to preventing the uptake of smoking among young people and reducing the prevalence rate of smoking among all New Zealanders, particularly Maori and pregnant and young women.

Auahi  Kore - Smokefree
Auahi Kore is a Smokefree Māori brand, which supports those Māori who want or have chosen to lead a healthy lifestyle by not smoking. Auahi Kore develops partnerships with the community through the support of important Māori events in sport, arts and culture.

Find out more from the Ministry

Cancer control in New Zealand

The National Cancer Programme covers the Ministry of Health’s, district health boards’ (DHBs), and regional cancer networks’ activity to implement the Government’s priorities for cancer and the New Zealand Cancer Control Strategy. 

Lung cancer is one of the Ministry’s priority cancers.  Work is underway which aims to improve access to services and reduce waiting times for patients.

Tobacco Control

The Ministry of Health has traditionally been the key agency for policy development in the tobacco control area and is involved in a large number of policy, service development and operational aspects of tobacco control. The three key objectives of tobacco control activities in New Zealand are to:

  • reduce smoking initiation
  • increase quitting
  • reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.
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