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Referral of Suspected Lung Cancer by Primary Care Practitioners

Version: 2 ID: 24-2 Jan 2019
Type of Content: Guidelines & Advice, Clinical
Document Status: Current
Authors:
L. Del Giudice, S. Young, E. Vella, M. Ash, P. Bansal, A. Robinson, R. Skrastins, Y. Ung, R. Zeldin, C. Levitt

Patient Population

Patients presenting in primary care settings comprise the target population. This guideline does not provide recommendations for patients in a screening program.

Intended Guideline Users

Family physicians (FPs), general practitioners, emergency room physicians, other primary care providers (PCPs) (nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and physician assistants), respirologists, thoracic surgeons, and radiologists.

For the purposes of this document, we have referred to FPs, general practitioners, emergency room physicians, and other PCPs as ‘FPs and other PCPs. The guidelines are also intended for policymakers to help ensure that resources are in place so that target wait times are achieved.

Research Question(s)

In patients presenting to primary care services with signs and/or symptoms of lung cancer, what should the referral process include?

The following questions are the factors considered in answering the overall question:

  1. What signs, symptoms and other clinical features are predictive of lung cancer?
  2. What is the diagnostic accuracy of investigations for lung cancer?
  3. What major, known risk factors are predictive of lung cancer?
  4. Which factors are associated with delayed referral? Which delay factors can be attributed to patients, and which factors can be attributed to providers? Does a delay in the time to consultation affect patient outcome?
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