Abstract / Description of output
Background and purpose of the study: The frequency of lung nodules in the head and neck cancer population is unknown, currently the only guidance available recommends following local policy. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of pulmonary nodules in our head and neck cancer group and interpret the recently updated British Thoracic Society (BTS) Lung Nodule Guidelines in a head and neck cancer setting. Methods 100 patients were diagnosed with head and neck cancer between July 2013–March 2014, clinico-pathological, demographic and radiological data was extracted from the electronic records. Images with lung findings were re-reviewed by a single consultant radiologist for patients with lung pathology on the initial staging CT report. Results Twenty patients (20%) had discreet pulmonary findings on CT. Eleven (11%) had lung nodules, 6 (6%) had lesions suspicious for metastasis and 3 (3%) had co-incidental bronchogenic primary cancers. These patients were re-imaged between 6 and 18 months and in 1 patient the previously identified 7 mm nodule had progressed to 16 mm at 1 year. There was no set follow up imaging protocol used. Conclusion The MDT in NHS Lothian has reviewed the BTS guidance and now has a local policy for the management of lung nodules in head and neck cancer patients. Lung Nodules in the head and neck cancer population are common >10%. Higher risk patients with larger nodules should be risk assessed with validated assessment tools. PET-CT has a place in the assessment of lung nodules when risk of malignancy is high.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- Head and neck cancer
- Pulmonary nodules