Rapid access clinic for unexplained lymphadenopathy and suspected malignancy: prospective analysis of 1000 patients.
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Background: In patients presenting with peripheral lymphadenopathy, it is critical to effectively identify those with underlying cancer who require urgent specialist care. Methods: We analyzed a large dataset of 1000 consecutive patients with unexplained lymphadenopathy referred between 2001 and 2009 to the Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH) rapid access lymph node diagnostic clinic (LNDC). Results: Cancer was diagnosed in 14% of patients. Factors predictive for malignant disease were male sex, age, supraclavicular and multiple site involvement. Cancer-associated symptoms were present for a median of 8 weeks. The median time from referral to start of cancer therapy was 53 days. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) was performed in 83% of patients with malignancies. Sensitivity and specificity of FNA were limited (50 and 87%, respectively for any malignancy; 30 and 79%, respectively for lymphoma). The vast majority of cancer patients received diagnostic biopsies on the basis of suspicious clinical and ultrasound findings; the FNA result contributed to establishing the diagnosis in only 4 cases. Conclusions: In conclusion, we demonstrate that Oncologist-led rapid access clinics are successful concepts to assess patients with unexplained lymphadenopathy. Our data suggest that a routine use of FNA should be reconsidered in this setting.
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Rapid access clinic
Medicine (RMH Smith Cunningham)
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BMC Hematol, 2018, 18 pp. 19 - ?