Systematic review of guidelines for the management of suspected lung cancer in primary care.
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OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the literature and provide an update and integration of existing peer-reviewed guidelines with recent systematic reviews and with primary studies related to the early recognition and management of lung cancer in primary care. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for relevant articles. The quality of the evidence to support existing guideline recommendations, and the consistency of recommendations with updated evidence, were assessed. Applicability in a Canadian primary care setting was also evaluated. STUDY SELECTION: All studies that explored signs or symptoms of or risk factors for lung cancer in the primary care setting were included. All diagnostic studies in which symptomatic primary care patients underwent 1 or more investigations were also searched. SYNTHESIS: Recommendations were consistent among guidelines despite a paucity of supporting evidence. Updated evidence provided further support for the recommendations. Recommendations for identifying signs and symptoms of lung cancer presenting in primary care and for initial management can be adopted and applied within a Canadian primary care setting. CONCLUSION: This updated review of recommendations might help promote evidence-based practice and, ultimately, more timely management and improved prognosis for lung cancer patients. It might also assist in the development of lung cancer diagnostic assessment programs.
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