Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Gastroenterol. 1991 Mar;86(3):304-8.

The role of the physician in the late diagnosis of primary malignant tumors of the small intestine.

Author information

Department of Radiology, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, Indianapolis.


Survival from primary malignancies of the small intestine has not improved during the last four decades. One reason for this is the advanced stage of disease at the time of surgery. In order to determine why diagnosis is made late, we reviewed the records of all patients with small bowel malignancy diagnosed between 1967 and 1988. The time from the onset of symptoms to the first medical contact and the time from medical contact until diagnosis were evaluated in 77 patients. The average delay in diagnosis attributable 1) to the patient failing to report symptoms was less than 2 months, 2) to the physician not ordering the appropriate diagnostic test was 8.2 months, and 3) to the radiologist failing to make the diagnosis was 12 months. Thus, the major delay in diagnosis was after medical help was sought and not from the onset of symptoms to first medical consultation. Physicians must increase their sensitivity to the subtle but persistent symptoms that necessitate a small bowel evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center