Evidence of advanced stage colorectal cancer with longer diagnostic intervals: a pooled analysis of seven primary care cohorts comprising 11 720 patients in five countries

This paper provides more evidence that longer diagnostic intervals are associated with more advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) and highlights the importance of early diagnosis in primary care. The study used seven independent data sets from population based studies in Scotland, England, Canada, Denmark and Spain. A total of 11720 newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients were identified all of which had initially presented with cancer symptoms to their GP. The odds of advanced CRC increased with a longer primary care interval (up to 90 days) which was significant and present across all the data sets. As the results eliminated patients diagnosed through screening and those without primary care involvement they are directly applicable to health-care systems, such as ours, which utilise GPs as gate-keepers to further testing. The study highlights the complexity and difficulty of cancer diagnosis and the importance of reducing the primary care diagnostic interval for CRC.

 

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