With communication at the heart of GatewayC and fundamental to improving patient care, this blog series focuses on introductions and reflections from the team behind the programme. In this post, we’re introducing Olivia, Media Technologist at The Christie School of...
Cancer Keys: Differentiation of the Cs in Lung Cancer: Cancer vs COVID-19
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False negative chest X-rays The main investigation for suspected lung cancer in primary care is a chest X-ray. However, reports show that some patients with normal chest X-rays still transpire to have lung cancer. Potential pitfall Although most large lung cancers can...
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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.
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.
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).
Cancer Keys are brought to you by GatewayC.
Download this Cancer Key here
Read the NICE NG12 guideline here