Kaleem Ullah Toori, Ali Zohair Nomani, Maxwell Winson, Mati-ur Rehman.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel; symptoms and chest x-ray help identify patients at high risk of lung cancer.
Rawal Med J Jan ;40(1):14-7.
Objectives: Late recognition of lung cancer is the major factor contributing towards its unsuccessful treatment. We conducted a prospective study to define any significant relationship of presenting symptoms with the diagnosis of lung cancer with a view to develop a model to identify those at high risk. Methods: A consecutive series of 587 patients referred to our rapid access chest clinic with the suspicion of lung cancer were included. The presenting symptoms, chest x-ray findings and final diagnosis of all the patients were recorded. Chi-square and t-test were used for univariate analysis. A model was generated from logistic regression analysis and the discriminatory power of the model was assessed using area under receiver operator characteristic curve. Results: Univariate analysis demonstrated that smoking, anorexia, weight loss and voice change were significantly more common in patients with lung cancer (p<0.05). Cough, expectoration and hemoptysis were significantly less common (p<0.05). Regression analysis qualified age, weight loss and smoking as significant predictors of lung cancer. Conclusion: Only few of the historically accepted symptoms demonstrated a strong association with lung cancer and the model developed on these can form basis for a scoring tool that can perhaps help identify those at higher risk of cancer. Further refinement of the tool is required to accommodate cases presenting at primary care level.
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