Ellis PM et al.
– Lung cancer patients experience substantial delays from development of symptoms to first initiating treatment. There is a need to promote awareness of lung cancer symptoms and develop and evaluate rapid assessment clinics for patients with suspected lung cancers.
Prospective cohort of patients referred with newly diagnosed lung cancer
Surveyed over 3 month period to assess delays in diagnosis
Patients reported when they first experienced symptoms, saw their doctor, what tests were done, when they saw a specialist and when they started treatment
Descriptive statistics used to summarize different time intervals
56 of 73 patients consented (RR 77%)
52 patients (30M, 22F) were interviewed (2 died before being interviewed and 2 could not be contacted)
The mean age was 68yrs
Stage distribution was as follows (IB/IIA 10%, stage IIIA 20%, IIIB/IV 70%)
Patients waited median of 21 days (iqr 7-51d) before seeing a doctor and further 22d (iqr 0-38d) to complete any investigations
Median time from presentation to specialist referral was 27d (iqr 12-49d) and further 23.5d (iqr 10-56d) to complete investigations
Median wait to start treatment once patients were seen at cancer centre was 10d (iqr 2-28d)
Overall time from development of first symptoms to starting treatment 138d (iqr 79-175d)
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