PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of brjgenpracThe British Journal of General Practice
 
Br J Gen Pract. 1992 October; 42(363): 419–422.
PMCID: PMC1372232

Time between presentation and treatment of six common cancers: a study in Devon.

Abstract

The time between a person presenting to a general practitioner with a symptom of cancer and that person starting treatment has been studied in Devon. Retrospective analysis was undertaken of the general practitioner records of 1465 patients proven to have cancer who were registered with 245 general practitioners. During inspection of these records dates of first presentation, of referral, of first hospital consultation and of the start of treatment were noted for people with six common types of cancer (cancer of the breast, large bowel, lung, oesophagus, prostate and stomach). The general practitioner stage time and hospital stage time (pre-appointment and post-appointment) were calculated for each patient. Large differences were found in median times for the general practitioner stage according to the type of cancer, ranging from a median value of 0 days for people with breast cancer to 84 days for people with cancer of the oesophagus. For patients with cancer of the breast, large bowel, lung or prostate, median general practitioner times were shorter than median hospital stage times, while for patients with cancer of the oesophagus and stomach cancer, median general practitioner stage times were longer than median hospital stage times. Comparison of the hospital stage times for people with breast cancer and cancer of the large bowel showed notable differences between the four health districts in Devon, pre- and post-appointment times being twice as long in one district as in another. This retrospective record analysis was acceptable to participating practitioners. The results provide a basis for general practitioners and hospital staff to review their own work.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (818K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Nylenna M. Fear of cancer among patients in general practice. Scand J Prim Health Care. 1984 Feb;2(1):24–26. [PubMed]
  • Stower MJ, Hardcastle JD. The results of 1115 patients with colorectal cancer treated over an 8-year period in a single hospital. Eur J Surg Oncol. 1985 Jun;11(2):119–123. [PubMed]
  • Tabár L, Fagerberg CJ, Gad A, Baldetorp L, Holmberg LH, Gröntoft O, Ljungquist U, Lundström B, Månson JC, Eklund G, et al. Reduction in mortality from breast cancer after mass screening with mammography. Randomised trial from the Breast Cancer Screening Working Group of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Lancet. 1985 Apr 13;1(8433):829–832. [PubMed]
  • Campbell S, Bhan V, Royston P, Whitehead MI, Collins WP. Transabdominal ultrasound screening for early ovarian cancer. BMJ. 1989 Dec 2;299(6712):1363–1367. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jenkins S. Diagnostic delay in neoplastic disease. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1978 Dec;28(197):724–728. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Macadam DB. A study in general practice of the symptoms and delay patterns in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1979 Dec;29(209):723–729. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • MacArthur C, Smith A. Delay in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1983 Mar;33(248):159–161. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Holliday HW, Hardcastle JD. Delay in diagnosis and treatment of symptomatic colorectal cancer. Lancet. 1979 Feb 10;1(8111):309–311. [PubMed]
  • Jones WG, Appleyard I. Delay in diagnosing testicular tumours. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 May 25;290(6481):1550–1550. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stower MJ. Delays in diagnosing and treating bladder cancer. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988 Apr 30;296(6631):1228–1229. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nylenna M. A survey of cancer patients in general practice. Fam Pract. 1986 Sep;3(3):168–173. [PubMed]
  • Maitland JM, Reid J, Taylor RJ. Two stage audit of cerebrovascular and coronary heart disease risk factor recording: the effect of case finding and screening programmes. Br J Gen Pract. 1991 Apr;41(345):144–146. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners