ABSTRACT: To analyze the results obtained in a lung cancer screening program since its inception five years ago regarding correct referrals, diagnostic and therapeutic delay times and days of hospitalization. To compare the diagnostic-therapeutic delays and hospital stays with those obtained in patients evaluated with the standard system.
Included for study were all those patients evaluated in our Lung Cancer Screening Program (LCSP) in the last five years. For the cases with LC, we recorded the dates the patients were referred to a specialist, the first consultation, diagnostic tests, stage, start of treatment and days of hospitalization. We compared these same data with lung cancer patients who did not partake in the LCSP and were diagnosed between October 2008 and October 2010.
We evaluated 179 patients remitted to the LCSP, which represented 26.7% of the consultations; 166 (92.7%) of the referrals were correct, out of which 44.5% were LC. In 75.6% of these, the entire study was completed in the outpatient setting, and more than 85% of the cases met the current recommendations related with diagnostic-therapeutic delays. When these results were compared with the non-LCSP group (n=151), differences were found in the data for hospitalizations: there was a lower percentage of hospitalizations (P<.0001) and shorter hospital stays (P<.0001) in the LCSP group. There were no differences between the two groups for diagnostic or therapeutic delays.
In our setting, lung cancer screening programs allow for cancer studies to be carried out in the outpatient consultations in a large percentage of cases, and within the time periods recommended by current guidelines. In spite of this fact, we have detected that these programs are underused.
Archivos de Bronconeumología 05/2012; 48(8):267-73. · 2.17 Impact Factor