Medical Q&As

Death from lung cancer - cancer type?

My father died of lung cancer in Saint Jamesís hospital about ten years ago. I asked the family doctor's receptionist what type of lung cancer he had and she said they did not keep records that long. I contacted the hospital and they said they could not help because of confidentiality and suggested that I contact the consultant that treated my dad. I do not know who that was. I live in the United States and need the information to pass on to my children. Any suggestions as to how I can get information would be gratefully received.

I would suggest that you write to your late fatherís GP and tell him or her that you are looking for information regarding your fatherís final illness and in particular that you want to know which type of lung cancer your father died from. Sometimes a doctor might remember such information even though the medical records have been disposed of. There may have been features in your fatherís case that would make his case stand out in the doctorís memory. If the GP cannot supply you with any of this information he or she might recall the name of the consultant that cared for your father in St Jamesís hospital. GPs often have a pattern of referring people to particular consultants for specific conditions therefore the GP might at least be able to give you a consultantís name to whom you could address your queries in writing. Another strategy would be to write to the Registrar of Births and Deaths at Joyce House, 8-11 Lombard St. East, Dublin 2. It is possible that your fatherís death certificate might contain the information you seek.