Consultation frequency in general practice before cancer diagnosis in relation to the patient’s usual consultation pattern

Poor cancer prognosis from a more developed disease has been hypothesized to be partly attributable to a sub-group of patients with lower health care seeking behaviour. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the rates of face-to-face consultations in general practice before a cancer diagnosis, in patients with different categories of ‘usual’ consultation frequency. Between 2009-2013, register data from first time cancer patients, aged 50-90 in Denmark were obtained. Patients began to increase their consultation frequency 4-6 months prior to their diagnosis. This study showed that patients with an undiagnosed cancer began to increase their consultation frequency independent of their usual consultation frequency. The number of additional consultations was nearly the same irrespective of the patient’s usual consultation frequency.

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