The initial cancer pathway for children - one-fourth wait more than 3 months

Acta Pediatrica, 05/02/2012

Ahrensberg JM et al. – Time intervals varied by gender, age and cancer type. Parental education may possibly affect the patient– and general practitioners (GPs) intervals.


  • Danish national population-based study. Children (<15 years) with an incident cancer diagnosed from January 2007 to December 2010 were sampled.
  • A total of 376 (68%) parents and 315 (87%) general practitioners (GPs) completed questionnaires on the diagnostic pathway.
  • The time interval was categorized into, patient-, GP-, system-, diagnostic- and total intervals, and as short or long intervals. Factors associated with long time intervals were assessed in a logistic regression model using prevalence ratios (PRs).


  • Girls were almost twice as likely as boys to experience long patient intervals (adjusted PR: 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–2.8).
  • The oldest children were more likely than the youngest to experience long total intervals (adjusted PR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.1–3.3).
  • Cancer type was associated with all time intervals, except GP intervals.
  • Children with bone- and CNS tumours had the longest total intervals (median: 88 days, interquartile interval (IQI): 57–132) vs. (median: 76, IQI: 28–191).
  • Parental education showed a possible association with patient- and GP intervals.

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