Cancer Keys: Persistent Cough – Think COVID-19, Think Cancer

Latest from the Blog

NEW COURSE: Oesophageal Cancer – Early Diagnosis

NEW COURSE: Oesophageal Cancer – Early Diagnosis

Thursday 25th February 2021 We are delighted to announce that the new Oesophageal Cancer - Early Diagnosis course is now available on GatewayC. Oesophageal cancer is the 14th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases with the highest...

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Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Whilst many people may associate brain tumours with headaches, often affected patients do not present with a headache until a later stage, if at all. Potential pitfall: Only up to 16% of brain tumour patients present to their GP with an isolated headache*; some...

read more

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Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Whilst many people may associate brain tumours with headaches, often affected patients do not present with a headache until a later stage, if at all. Potential pitfall: Only up to 16% of brain tumour patients present to their GP with an isolated headache*; some...

read more

Potential pitfall:

There has been a significant reduction in suspected cancer referrals during the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, lung cancer is a major cause of premature death in the UK. Clinician’s must identify those at risk of lung cancer and investigate when appropriate, to ensure we do not miss opportunities for early diagnosis and curative treatment.

Helpful hint:

Consider this guidance when selecting patients for a chest X-ray or a suspected lung cancer referral during coronavirus, if a patient presents with a persistent cough > 3 weeks and:

  • Smoking history >20 pack years
  • Lack of additional coronavirus symptoms (fever, myalgia, coronavirus contact)
  • Other risk factors for lung cancer (family history, asbestos exposure)
  • Associated red flag symptoms (hoarse voice, weight loss, chest pain, new persistent breathlessness)

NICE guidelines recommend offering an urgent chest X-ray (to be performed within 2 weeks) to assess for lung cancer in people aged 40 and over, who have ever smoked and present with a cough; or are aged 40 and over who present with a cough and another red flag symptom, or a persistent or recurrent chest infection. Refer using a suspected cancer pathway referral (for an appointment within 2 weeks) if they are aged 40 and over with unexplained haemoptysis, or their chest X-ray suggests lung cancer.

References:

Dr Matthew Evison, Consultant Chest Physician and Clinical Lead, Director of the Lung Pathway Board and clinical lead for the CURE project for Greater Manchester

Kennedy et al.  Lung cancer stage-shift following a symptom awareness campaign. Thorax. 2018 Dec;73(12):1128-1136

Cancer Keys are brought to you by GatewayC.

Download this Cancer Key here

Read NICE’s guidance here

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Latest from the Blog

NEW COURSE: Oesophageal Cancer – Early Diagnosis

NEW COURSE: Oesophageal Cancer – Early Diagnosis

Thursday 25th February 2021 We are delighted to announce that the new Oesophageal Cancer - Early Diagnosis course is now available on GatewayC. Oesophageal cancer is the 14th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases with the highest...

read more
Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Whilst many people may associate brain tumours with headaches, often affected patients do not present with a headache until a later stage, if at all. Potential pitfall: Only up to 16% of brain tumour patients present to their GP with an isolated headache*; some...

read more

Related Posts

Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Cancer Keys: Brain Tumours and Headaches

Whilst many people may associate brain tumours with headaches, often affected patients do not present with a headache until a later stage, if at all. Potential pitfall: Only up to 16% of brain tumour patients present to their GP with an isolated headache*; some...

read more