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Oncotarget. 2017 Sep 14;8(48):84540-84545. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.20886. eCollection 2017 Oct 13.

Suspected cancer diagnoses made by general practitioners in a population with subsequently confirmed cancer diagnoses in Germany: a retrospective study of 31,628 patients.

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Epidemiology, QuintilesIMS, Frankfurt, Germany.
GP Praxis Meister, Nidderau, Germany.
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris 5, Paris, France.


The goal of the present study was to analyze the prevalence and risk factors of suspected cancer diagnoses made by general practitioners (GP) in a population with subsequently confirmed cancer diagnoses in Germany. This study included patients aged 18 years or older who received an initial documentation of a confirmed cancer diagnosis from 1,262 German GP between January and December 2016 (index date). The main outcome measure of the study was the rate of suspected cancer diagnoses made by GP within one year prior to the index date. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to estimate the relationship between defined demographic and clinical variables and suspected cancer diagnoses. This study included 31,628 individuals. Within the year prior to the confirmed cancer diagnosis, 5% of the population received suspected cancer diagnoses. Patients in the age groups 41-50, 51-60, and 61-70 years were more likely to receive a suspected cancer diagnosis from a GP than those in the age group > 80 years (OR ranging from 1.30 to 1.38). Lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia were associated with an increase in such odds when compared to cancers of the digestive organs (OR ranging from 1.56 to 2.26), whereas female genital organ cancers were associated with decreased odds (OR = 0.63). Overall, approximately 5% of patients received suspected diagnoses of cancer prior to their confirmed diagnoses. Suspected cancer diagnoses were associated with age and several types of cancer.


cancer; general practitioner; suspected diagnosis

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST KK, UM, MK and LJ declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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