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Scand J Public Health. 2017 May;45(3):230-237. doi: 10.1177/1403494817693695. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Waiting times for cancer patients in Sweden: A nationwide population-based study.

Author information

1
1 Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
2
2 Department of Clinical Pathology and Cytology, Karolinska University Laboratory, Sweden.
3
3 CLINTEC Department, Karolinska Institutet, Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services, Sweden.
4
4 Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.
5
5 Department of Surgery and Perioperative Sciences, Urology and Andrology, Umeå University, Sweden.
6
6 Center for Digestive Diseases, Division of Coloproctology, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden.
7
7 Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
8
8 The National Board of Health and Welfare, Sweden.
9
9 Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden.

Abstract

AIMS:

The reported long waiting times for cancer patients have mostly been related to prognostic outcome and less to patient-related experience to outcome. We assessed waiting times for patients with cancer of the breast, prostate, colon or rectum in Sweden.

METHODS:

The median time from referral to start of treatment was assessed using data from clinical cancer registers for patients who received curative treatment during 2011, 2012 and 2013.

RESULTS:

The median overall waiting time in different counties ranged from 7 to 28 days for breast cancer, from 117 to 280 days for prostate cancer, from 27 to 64 days for colon cancer and from 48 to 80 days for rectal cancer. For the entire nation, the median time from referral to start of treatment remained unchanged from 2011 to 2013 for each cancer diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Large variations were found in waiting times between different counties in Sweden and between different types of cancer. The long waiting times identified in this study emphasize the need to improve national programmes for more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer care; breast cancer; colon cancer; prostate cancer; rectal cancer; waiting time

PMID:
28443490
DOI:
10.1177/1403494817693695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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