57yo man is referred to your practice due to an incidental 1.1cm single pulmonary nodule found on computed tomography. He is a never smoker and denies any known family history of lung cancer. He has no pulmonary medical history and reports no pulmonary symptoms.
What is the next step in the management of this patient?
- The first step in the management of this patient should be investigate if there are any previous studies to compare. This will allow us to be able to assess if any growth has taken place. For this patient, there are no previous studies to compare.
- The next step would be assess malignancy risk since it is larger than 8mm. Up to Date uses the Brock University Cancer Equation, which I happen to like as well, though there are several out there and all use clinical, historical, and radiographical criteria.
- Our patient has a predicted malignancy risk of 3.54% and using the below algorithm, this patient needs a follow-up CT scan in 3 months to evaluate growth.
Gould MK, Donington J, Lynch WR, et al. Evaluation of individuals with pulmonary nodules: when is it lung cancer? Diagnosis and management of lung cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2013; 143(5 Suppl):e93S-e120S. [pubmed]
Callister ME, Baldwin DR, Akram AR, et al. British Thoracic Society guidelines for the investigation and management of pulmonary nodules. Thorax. 2015; 70 Suppl 2:ii1-ii54. [pubmed]
McWilliams A, Tammemagi MC, Mayo JR, et al. Probability of cancer in pulmonary nodules detected on first screening CT. The New England journal of medicine. 2013; 369(10):910-9. [pubmed]
- Up-To-Date. Diagnostic Evaluation of the Incidental Pulmonary Nodule. 2018.