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Episode 016: How quickly are people with symptomatic lung cancer getting a pre-diagnostic chest X-ray?

 

In this episode we talk to Dr Garth Funston, a Clinical Research Fellow, from the Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.

The paper is: Time from presentation to pre-diagnostic chest X-ray in patients with symptomatic lung cancer: a cohort study using electronic patient records from English primary care.

Read the paper: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp20X714077

England’s national cancer referral guidelines recommend that patients attending general practice with unexplained symptoms possibly caused by lung cancer, such as persistent cough, shortness of breath, and weight loss, have a chest X-ray promptly (within 14 days) to aid timely diagnosis. Only 35% of patients with lung cancer in this study had a chest X-ray within the recommended 14 days; and time between attending general practice with symptoms and having an X-ray was longer among people who smoke, females, and older patients. This research highlights a potential source of delayed lung cancer diagnosis and could inform initiatives aiming to achieve earlier diagnosis and improve outcomes.

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