Cancer Keys: Differentiation of the Cs in Lung Cancer: Cancer vs COVID-19

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Potential pitfall:

Overlapping lung cancer and COVID-19 symptoms means that the message to patients about early diagnosis is negated by the messages necessary to control the COVID pandemic.

Helpful hint:

Consider the following action if a patient presents with features more suggestive of lung cancer and overlapping symptoms of a cough, breathlessness and fatigue:

  • Arrange an urgent nasal/oropharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 PCR and if negative:
  • Refer for Chest X-ray or direct to lung cancer service for CT and triage on the National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway
  • If PCR positive, manage according to current COVID-19 guidelines and review after 2 weeks if hospital admission not required; consider 2 week wait referral in patient recovered from COVID-19 in whom lung cancer suspected
  • If symptoms require urgent attention, consider emergency admission

Please note: the NICE NG12 guideline recommends offering an urgent chest X‑ray (to be performed within 2 weeks) to assess for lung cancer in people aged 40 and over if they have 2 or more of the following unexplained symptoms, or if they have ever smoked and have 1 or more of the following unexplained symptoms including a cough, fatigue and shortness of breath.

References:

Evison, M. et al (2020) Differentiation of the Cs in lung cancer: Cancer vs Covid-19. Available at: https://www.healthylondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Differentiation-of-the-Cs-in-lung-cancer_-Cancer-vs.-COVID.pdf (Accessed 29 June 2020).

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Read the NICE NG12 guideline here

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Latest from the Blog

Discussing impotence with patients

Discussing impotence with patients

Friday 19th June 2020 For many patients, the relief of surviving their treatment or managing their condition can be followed with questions about other aspects of their life. Impotence can be very common after treatment for colorectal cancer; often affecting up to 90%...

read more
Breathlessness and end of life care

Breathlessness and end of life care

Thursday 11th June 2020 Breathlessness is one of the common symptoms that people experience at the end of their lives. However, determining whether a patient is entering the last few days of their life requires the GP to consider a range of factors. Before making this...

read more

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No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.