Time to diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer: A systematic overview of risk factors, interventions and impact on patient outcomes
Although lung cancer is the chief cause of cancer death in the world, the time between symptom recognition and diagnosis has been climbing in the past decade – despite significant changes to international policy and systems to close this gap. Led by PhD candidate Jianrong Zhang, this recent overview not only corroborated these findings, but further explored the factors contributing to the significant delay in diagnosis. The study included 18 systematic reviews, scoping reviews, or meta-analyses that were published in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library. Several risk factors for longer intervals were classified into disease, patient, healthcare provider and system levels. To address them, the authors proposed approaches such as promoting lung cancer awareness and the tendency to seek professional help, as well as establishing effective healthcare. Together, combined efforts at every level could improve the time to lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. This overview found strong evidence of health system interventions to minimise delays in lung cancer diagnoses after referral from primary care. Read the original article here.