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Cancer Keys

NICE consults on lung cancer x-ray guidelines

Published: 26th July 2022

8th November 2019

A consultation has been launched into a NICE guideline that currently recommends x-rays for suspected lung cancer cases. Recent research by the British Journal of General Practice reaffirms a 2006 study in finding that the sensitivity of chest x-rays is only 77 – 80% for symptomatic lung cancers.

Since negative chest x-rays do not always exclude a diagnosis of lung cancer, it is advised that if there is still clinical suspicion, either refer the patient for a CT scan (if available), or refer the patient via a suspected cancer pathway. It is worth noting that outcomes for lung cancer in the UK remain poor when compared to other advanced economies where CT scans rather than x-rays are used more extensively.

Read our Cancer Key on this topic for helpful hints on how to proceed in symptomatic lung cancer investigations if chest x-rays are negative.

Find out more:

Access GatewayC’s ‘Lung Cancer – Early Diagnosis’ course here

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