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Koh J, Tan GJ, How CH
Correspondence: Dr How Choon How, How.Choon.How@singhealth.com.sg
The solitary pulmonary nodule on chest X-ray (CXR) is a common problem in pulmonary medicine. Its presence raises the question of lung cancer. As five-year survival after resection of a solitary bronchogenic carcinoma can be as high as 80%, prompt evaluation is crucial. This should begin with a cancer risk assessment based on clinical and radiographic factors. The risk and benefits of surgery should next be assessed, and together with the patient’s preferences, a management plan can be decided upon. Surgery is recommended for patients at high risk of malignancy with a low surgical risk, while careful observation is adopted for patients at low risk of malignancy coupled with a high surgical risk. Further diagnostic tests may be warranted to aid in this decision process. Although CXR is not useful for lung cancer screening, low-dose computed tomography imaging is increasingly recommended for individuals at high risk for lung cancer.
Keywords: lung cancer, lung cancer screening, lung nodule, solitary pulmonary nodule
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(6): 372–376