Lung cancer doctor in Singapore

Lung Cancer Treatment

Lung cancer is an uncontrolled cancer cell growth in the lungs, often caused by smoking. There has recently been a recent increase in the prevalence of people who have never smoked. Common symptoms such as cough, chest pain and shortness of breath can often be mistaken for other conditions, which makes early detection essential. Dr Harish Mithiran, senior consulting thoracic surgeon at Gleneagles and Mount Alvernia Hospitals in Singapore, specialises in lung cancer treatment, bringing technology, such as uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (U-VATS) and da Vinci robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS), to better lung cancer patient outcomes.

What Is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is tied to the abnormal metabolism and energy synthesis that enables a malignant tumour that originates in the lungs. This is due to the genetic damage to the DNA of cells in the airways, often caused by factors like cigarette smoking or exposure to harmful environmental chemicals. This cancer begins when damaged airway cells start multiplying uncontrollably, forming a tumour that can spread throughout the lung and eventually metastasise to other parts of the body. 

Lung cancer is a significant global health concern, being the most diagnosed and deadliest cancer worldwide, with a high mortality rate despite advancements in treatment options. In Singapore, the often deadly disease is the third most common cancer, accounting for 13.7% incidence in males and 7.7% of all cancers in females. 

What was once understood as just a disease that affects smokers, lung cancer rates among nonsmokers, particularly women of Asian descent, are increasing, which makes screening essential for populations beyond smokers.

Lung cancer Dr Harish Mithiran

What Are Early Lung Cancer Symptoms?

Lung cancer can be asymptomatic in the early stages, which means many patients do not have any signs or symptoms. The disease can manifest with symptoms like coughing and chest pain, and its diagnosis typically involves imaging tests and biopsies to determine the type and stage of the cancer.  Some patients may develop a loss of weight and appetite. This lingering cough does not go away, even coughing up small amounts of blood, causing breathlessness, chest pain and generalised body aches. 

Late-stage lung cancer symptoms can vary depending on the individual and the specific type of lung cancer. Some common symptoms include fluid build-up around the lungs, severe fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea, and unexplained weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact our clinic right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment options for lung cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted drug therapies, with survival rates varying based on the stage of diagnosis and individual factors. 

At Neumark, Dr Harish Mithiran plans and reviews lung cancer consultations. Our private lung and chest surgical centre offers swift-access consultations, ensuring a prompt evaluation for all patients, whether private or referred by other doctors.

Neumark lung cancer specialists in Singapore can access urgent diagnostic investigations — e.g. molecular and genetic markers tests, blood tests, chest x-rays, CT scans, biopsies, and bronchoscopies. Through our affiliation with Gleneagles Hospital, our patients have access to a team of highly qualified cancer doctors, surgeons, and respiratory specialists who treat patients with lung cancer.

Lung cancer can present itself in different stages. For Stages 1 and 2, the gold standard of lung cancer treatment is surgical intervention. Some advanced Stage 3 lung cancers can also be offered surgical resection upon evaluation.

As leaders in the thoracic surgical field, our lung cancer specialists will carefully develop an individual treatment plan for you to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes and involve you in all decisions about your lung cancer care.

Diagnostic teams will perform all the necessary tests to establish a comprehensive diagnosis to recommend the most suitable treatment modality for lung cancer intervention. Our team of experts – from specialist surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, respiratory doctors, and specialist nurses – will involve you at every stage to ensure access to the latest advice and full support throughout your treatment and during after-care.

Resectable Lung Cancer Treatments

Surgery as a treatment for lung cancer can be approached via a minimally invasive approach. Neumark surgeons perform:

  • Uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (U-VATS) a minimally invasive surgery that involves assessing and treating lung and mediastinal diseases through a single incision
  • Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) a type of minimally invasive surgery used in thoracic procedures for some lung cancers and mediastinal growths

These leading surgical interventions for lung cancer remove a certain segment (segmentectomy), the entire lobe (lobectomy) or, in large tumours, the entire lung (pneumonectomy), as well as surrounding lymph nodes for further diagnosis.

If lung cancer surgery is determined to be the right option for your condition, you will be in the hands of a highly- specialised lung surgery team that uses minimally invasive techniques to ensure a healthy recovery. For patients who are diagnosed with a condition that makes them unfit for surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other targeted therapies may be alternatives.

After your lung cancer has been removed, we’ll schedule post-operative consultations to ensure your functional health following lung cancer resection.

FAQs about Lung Cancer Treatments

Lung cancer can spread at varying rates depending on the type, location, stage, and other factors. Generally speaking, lung cancer tends to spread early. Small cell lung cancer usually grows and spreads faster than non-small cell lung cancer, with around 70% of small cell lung cancers having already spread at the time of diagnosis. Without treatment, most people with small cell lung cancer die within 2-4 months.

The average doubling time for non-small cell lung cancer has been reported at an estimated 400 days, while the doubling time for small cell lung cancer has been reported anywhere from 25 to 240 days. However, these numbers represent the median, and the growth rate can vary widely. It is important to note that these estimates are based on studies and may not accurately reflect the growth rate of every individual’s cancer. Schedule a consultation with our lung cancer specialists today to discuss diagnosis and treatment.

Choosing private lung cancer treatment provides several benefits that can enhance your care and the overall patient experience. Privatised lung cancer care often allows quicker access to specialists, enabling faster diagnosis and initiating treatment sooner.

It also offers the flexibility to select your specialist or hospital, allowing for a more personalised care experience. Moreover, private treatment typically involves a multidisciplinary team collaborating to create a personalised treatment plan, emphasising your involvement in decision-making. This approach ensures you have input on the tests and therapies used, making you an active participant in your care.

There are several types of treatment for lung cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. The specific treatment plan will depend on the type and stage of cancer and each patient’s overall health. In general, the goal of lung cancer treatment is to remove the cancerous cells or to ‘starve’ them with medication, radiation, or other modalities. Some people with lung cancer may require multimodal therapy to achieve the best possible outcome.

Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) can offer several potential benefits compared to the traditional surgical treatment of lung cancer, such as a small incision, improved precision, and enhanced visualisation of the surgical site. These advantages may result in less blood loss, fewer complications, and a faster recovery for the patient.

Uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery, also known as U-VATS, is a type of minimally invasive lung cancer procedure that is used to treat conditions affecting the chest, such as lung cancer and other lung diseases. U-VATS has several potential advantages over traditional open surgery, including a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery time, less pain, and a smaller incision.

Most health insurance plans will cover the costs of lung cancer treatment by Neumark lung cancer surgeons, including RATS and U-VATS procedures. However, the specific coverage will vary depending on your integrated Shield Plan with riders for private medical coverage or Corporate Insurance Plan, as well as the specific treatments you need. Check with your insurance provider to find out exactly what is covered under your plan, or contact our clinic to discuss how we work with insurance providers to help process your medical claim.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The use of this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship and no medical advice should be inferred or assumed. It is the user’s sole responsibility to seek the advice of their healthcare professionals for any medical concerns they may have and the user should not disregard, or delay, prompt medical advice for any such condition.

Lung Cancer Specialists in Singapore

Neumark Lung and Chest Surgery Centre benefits from the expertise of a multidisciplinary team led by Dr Harish Mithiran, senior consulting thoracic surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital and Mt Alvernia Hospital.

Neumark is a lung and chest specialist centre with access to leading treatment modalities to achieve the best possible outcomes for lung disease and preventative patient screening.

Our foremost priority is to treat your condition as effectively as possible. Schedule a private consultation today; complete the form below, call, +65 6908 2145; WhatsApp, +65 9726 2485; or email,