Self-reported management of possible symptoms of head and neck cancer
A pilot primary care vignette survey
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is an uncommon yet highly complex cancer, with an incidence of 13.5 per 100,000 persons per year in New South Wales (NSW), accounting for 2.8% of new cancer diagnoses annually. Early cancer diagnosis is a critical component of comprehensive cancer care, as early stage cancers have a more favourable prognosis, lower costs and complexity of treatment, and better patient outcomes. More than half of HNCs are diagnosed at an advanced stage, with higher rates of advanced stage and poorer survival in patients from regional/remote areas of Australia and Indigenous populations. The primary aim of this study is to conduct a pilot survey using case vignettes to investigate the self-reported management of possible HNC symptoms by PCPs in NSW. Secondary aims are to i) examine geographical variation in management approaches to possible HNC symptoms and ii) assess the feasibility of a larger state-wide or national survey of PCPs.