Stage at diagnosis, survival and diagnostic delays for lung, colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancer: comparison between patients referred urgently from primary care and patients diagnosed through other routes
AuthorsNeal, Richard D.
Allgar, Victoria L.
AffiliationUniversity of Leeds
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBackground Very few studies have reported cancer outcomes of patients referred through different routes, despite the prominence of current UK cancer urgent referral guidance. Aim This study aimed to compare outcomes of cancer patients referred through the urgent referral guidance with those who were not, with respect to stage at diagnosis, survival, and delays in diagnosis. Design of study Analysis of hospital records. Setting One hospital trust in England Method The records of 889 patients diagnosed in 2000–2001 with one of four types of cancer were analysed: 409 with lung cancer; 239 with colorectal cancer; 146 with prostate cancer; and 95 with ovarian cancer. Outcome measures were diagnostic stage, survival, referral and secondary care delays. Results For lung cancer, urgent referrals had more advanced TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) stage than patients diagnosed through other routes (P = 0.035) and poorer survival (P = 0.020). There was no difference in stage or survival for the other cancers. For each cancer, a higher proportion of urgent referrals was seen within 2 weeks. Secondary care delays for lung and colorectal cancer were shorter for inter-specialty referrals. Conclusion For patients with lung cancer, the guidance appears to be prioritising those in the more advanced stages of disease. This was not the case for the other three cancers. Referral delays were shorter for patients urgently referred, as is the intention of the guidance. The avoidance of delays in outpatient diagnostics probably accounts for shorter secondary care delays for inter-specialty referrals.
CitationNeal RD, Ali N, Allgar VL, Heywood P, Leese B, Proctor G, Evans J (2006) 'Stage at diagnosis, survival and diagnostic delays for lung, colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancer: comparison between patients referred urgently from primary care and patients diagnosed through other routes', British Journal of General Practice, 56 (532), pp.212-219.
PublisherRoyal College of General Practitioners
PubMed Central IDPMC2042569
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