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Patient Educ Couns. 1999 Jul;37(3):231-42.

Evaluation of an educational programme for the early detection of cancer.

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Research and Development Unit, Primary Health Care, County Council Halland, Box 113, S-311 22 Falkenberg, Sweden.


Avoiding patient's and doctor's delay is important for the detection of cancer. In order to study the possibilities for shortening the delay, without causing anxiety, an educational programme for early detection of cancer (EPEDC) was worked out, aimed to be evaluated at the community level. A community with 77,100 inhabitants, was informed about cancer symptoms in a letter. Participants who observed the cancer symptoms, described in the letter, were invited to visit the health centres, where they were interviewed and examined according to a specially designed schedule. Guidelines for taking care of these participants were also worked out. Fifteen previously unknown cancers were detected. By means of a telephone interview and a questionnaire the reactions to the EPEDC were studied. The results indicate that it is possible to inform and educate the population about cancer symptoms without causing anxiety on condition that there is an organisation which can be contacted without delay by subjects with potential cancer symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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