In this time of COVID-19 pandemic, a new expert panel has provided guidance to clinicians managing lung cancer screening programs. This statement was published in journals Radiology: Imaging Cancer, Chest and the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Clinicians are being forced to balance the risk of delaying potentially necessary exams against the risk of exposing patients to COVID-19. The risk from potential exposure to COVID-19 and resource allocation has occurred to combat this pandemic. The guideline recommendations for lung cancer screening and lung nodule evaluation have been altered accordingly.
COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the health care system and much of the attention to date has been focused on the immediate needs of patients suffering from this virus. The strain on healthcare system to control this virus has impacted the care of patients with other medical disorders such as lung cancer patients. So, clinicians have been forced to balance the risk of delaying potential management against the risk of exposing patients to virus in hospital settings. This is further complicated by re-allocation of resources including medical personnel. So, an expert panel was formed and provided with an overview of current evidence and summarized by guidelines related to lung cancer screening and lung nodule evaluation.
In this exercise, twelve statements related to baseline and annual lung cancer screening, management of clinical stage one non-small cell lung cancer, evaluation of intermediate and high risk nodules and surveillance of previously detected lung nodule were developed and modified. These consensus statements work to provide guidance about situations where it was felt appropriate to delay screening and minimize non-urgent interventions during stage I non-small cell lung cancer. However, it was also made clear that multiple local, regional and patient related factors should be considered while applying these statements to patients.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.