Respiratory Medicine Program Committee

The objective is to advocate for high quality care in respiratory health and to provide leadership in areas of respiratory education, policy development, best practice guidelines and research addressing the needs of family physicians in this special interest field. We aim to be the trusted voice for family physician perspectives in the prevention and management of patients with respiratory conditions in Canada.

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DISCLAIMER: Editorial comments posted to this web page are those of the Respiratory Medicine Program Committee members and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Respiratory Medicine in the News 

Editorial content written by Dr. Alan Kaplan, chair of the Respiratory Medicine SIFP Committee.

Radon levels unacceptable in 25% of New Brunswick Homes (Lung Cancer Risk)

Editorial comment:

Radon is a risk factor for lung cancer. Epidemiological evidence shows a clear link between lung cancer and high concentrations of radon, with 21,000 radon-induced U.S. lung cancer deaths per year—second only to cigarette smoking (x)  Getting your homes tested is the only way you can protect yourself against this colourless, odourless substance.


Editorial comment:

Fireproof, waterproof, and weatherproof. This was the perfect product, until we found out what it does to lungs. Consider asbestos exposure to your middle aged hard working people in blue colour jobs who may have been exposed. Early diagnosis is the only chance at a cure. 

WHO ramps up efforts to eradicate tuberculosis

Editorial comment:

Tuberculosis is relatively uncommon in Canada, but consider it in aboriginal patients and those born outside of Canada; a very large group of Canadians. Remember the presentation of cough, sputum, weight loss, hemoptysis and night sweats. Consider it when pneumonia does not clear as expected. The diagnostic test is sputum for acid fast bacilli, NOT just a TB skin test.  Interestingly, there is an increased risk of reactivation of TB with inhaled corticosteroids, so those CXRs with granulomas that you have been ignoring might be important in those being treated with ICS (as a risk of reactivating latent TB). 

Advocacy group says lung cancer patients are underserved

Editorial comment:

Lung cancer is common and deadly. It happens not just in smokers (see Radon article) so we must be aware of the risk. There is good news regarding new targeted therapies for certain lung cancers so this is no longer the death sentence that it was. In addition, CT scanning for lung cancer screening is something currently in its infancy. Remember, screening smokers with CXR is ineffective as it does not pick up disease in a state where cure is possible.

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