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Med J Aust. 2007 Mar 19;186(6):288-91.

Modes of presentation and pathways to diagnosis of colorectal cancer in Queensland.

Author information

1
Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, Queensland Cancer Fund, Brisbane, QLD. brigidlynch@qldcancer.com.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the process of colorectal cancer diagnosis in Queensland, and to determine factors associated with time to diagnosis.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Cross-sectional study of 1996 patients with colorectal cancer recruited through the Queensland Cancer Registry. Data were collected by computer-assisted telephone interview between May 2003 and August 2005.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Time to diagnosis: pre-presentation time (time from first noticing a symptom to first presenting to a doctor); and post-presentation time (time between the first presentation and diagnosis).

RESULTS:

Most patients (90%) had experienced symptoms before being diagnosed with colorectal cancer; only 2% of patients were diagnosed by faecal occult blood testing. Older participants and those who experienced abdominal pain had the shortest time from symptom onset to their first doctor consultation, while participants with a change in bowel habit, or rectal bleeding, and those without private health insurance tended to wait longer to see a doctor. Participants who experienced abdominal pain were diagnosed more quickly, whereas those who experienced a change in bowel habit, women, and those without private health insurance experienced a longer time to diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The strong association between not having health insurance and longer post-presentation times is concerning. The other hypothesised predictors of time to diagnosis were not as strongly associated as we anticipated.

PMID:
17371208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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