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Meechan D.,Trent Cancer Registry | Gildea C.,Trent Cancer Registry | Hollingworth L.,Trent Cancer Registry | Richards M.A.,National Cancer Action Team | And 2 more authors.
British Journal of General Practice

Background: A 2-Week Wait (2WW) referral pathway for earlier diagnosis of suspected cancer was introduced in England in 2000. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of patients with cancer are diagnosed by other routes (detection rate), only a small proportion of 2WW referrals have cancer (conversion rate) and there is considerable between-practice variation. Aim: This study examined use by practices of the 2WW referral in relation to all cancer diagnoses. Design and setting: A cross-sectional analysis of data extracted from the Cancer Waiting Times Database for all 2WW referrals in 2009 and for all patients receiving a first definitive treatment in the same year. Method: The age standardised referral ratio, conversion rate, and detection rate were calculated for all practices in England and the correlation coefficient for each pair of measures. The median detection rate was calculated for each decile of practices ranked by conversion rate and vice versa, performing nonparametric tests for trend in each case. Results: Data for 8049 practices, 865 494 referrals, and 224 984 cancers were analysed. There were significant correlations between referral ratio and conversion rate (inverse) and detection rate (direct). There was also a direct correlation between conversion and detection rates. There was a significant trend in conversion rate for deciles of detection rate, and vice versa, with a marked difference between the lowest and higher deciles. Conclusion: There is a consistent relationship between 2WW referral conversion rate and detection rate that can be interpreted as representing quality of clinical practice. The 2WW referral rate should not be a measure of quality of clinical care. ©British Journal of General Practice. Source

Green T.,University of Hull | Elliott K.,National Cancer Action Team | Rubin G.,Durham University | Macleod U.,University of Hull
British Journal of General Practice

Background: Diagnostic delay is deemed to account for an estimated 5000 to 10 000 extra cancer deaths each year in the UK. Many cancer patients do not have symptoms meeting national referral criteria for rapid investigation. Risk assessment tools (RATs) have been developed to assist GPs in selecting patient for cancer investigation. Aim: To assess the usability and acceptability of lung and colorectal RATs, as well as subsequent resource use and cancer diagnoses. Design and setting: Cohort study with nested qualitative study with 614 GPs from 165 practices in seven English cancer networks were provided with RATs applicable to patients aged ≥40 years with bowel or respiratory symptoms. In-depth interviews were conducted with 34 individuals (11 project managers and 23 GPs). Method: The study measured the number of RATs used, and subsequent cancer investigations and diagnoses, over a 6-month period and compared these with the previous 6 months. Results: A total of 2593 RATs (1160 lung, 1433 colorectal) were completed. Compared with the preceding 6 months, there were 292 more chest X-rays, 104 extra 2-week chest clinic appointments, and 47 additional diagnoses of lung cancer. For suspected colorectal cancer, there were 304 more 2-week referrals, 270 more colonoscopies, and 10 more cancers identified. RATs appeared to help GPs in their selection of patients for cancer investigation. Users reported that RATs helped to confirm a need for investigation as well as allowing reassurance when investigation was not needed. Conclusion: Use of RATs in primary care was accompanied by increased diagnostic activity and additional cancer diagnoses. © British Journal of General Practice. Source

Boggon R.,Datalink | Boggon R.,University Utrecht | Van Staa T.P.,Datalink | Van Staa T.P.,University Utrecht | And 6 more authors.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety

Purpose: Large electronic datasets are increasingly being used to evaluate healthcare delivery. The aim of this study was to compare information held by cancer registries with that of the General Practice Research Database (GPRD). Methods: A convenience sample of 101020 patients aged 40+ years drawn from GPRD formed the primary data source. This cohort was derived from a larger sample originally established for a cohort study of diabetes. GPRD records were linked with those from cancer registries in the National Cancer Data Repository (NCDR). Concordance between the two datasets was then evaluated. For cases recorded only on one dataset, validation was sought from other datasets (Hospital Episode Statistics and death registration) and by detailed analysis of a subset of GPRD records. Results: A total of 5797 cancers (excluding non-melanomatous skin cancer) were recorded on GPRD. Of these cases, 4830 were also recorded on NCDR (concordance rate of 83.3%). Of the 976 cases recorded on GPRD but not on NCDR, 528 were present also in the hospital records or death certificates. Of the 341 cases recorded on NCDR but not on GPRD, 307 were recorded in these other two datasets. Rates of concordance varied by cancer type. Cancer registries recorded larger numbers of patients with lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers, whereas GPRD recorded more haematological cancers and melanomas. As expected, GPRD recorded significantly more non-melanomatous skin cancer. Concordance decreased with increasing age. Conclusion: Although concordance levels were reasonably high, the findings from this study can be used to direct efforts for better recording in both datasets. © 2012 Crown. Source

Forbes L.J.L.,Kings College London | Warburton F.,Kings College London | Richards M.A.,National Cancer Action Team | Ramirez A.J.,Kings College London
British Journal of Cancer

Background: Delay in symptomatic presentation leading to advanced stage at diagnosis may contribute to poor cancer survival. To inform public health approaches to promoting early symptomatic presentation, we aimed to identify risk factors for delay in presentation across several cancers.Methods:We surveyed 2371 patients with 15 cancers about nature and duration of symptoms using a postal questionnaire. We calculated relative risks for delay in presentation (time from symptom onset to first presentation >3 months) by cancer, symptoms leading to diagnosis and reasons for putting off going to the doctor, controlling for age, sex and deprivation group.Results:Among 1999 cancer patients reporting symptoms, 21% delayed presentation for >3 months. Delay was associated with greater socioeconomic deprivation but not age or sex. Patients with prostate (44%) and rectal cancer (37%) were most likely to delay and patients with breast cancer least likely to delay (8%). Urinary difficulties, change of bowel habit, systemic symptoms (fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite) and skin symptoms were all common and associated with delay. Overall, patients with bleeding symptoms were no more likely to delay presentation than patients who did not have bleeding symptoms. However, within the group of patients with bleeding symptoms, there were significant differences in risk of delay by source of bleeding: 35% of patients with rectal bleeding delayed presentation, but only 9% of patients with urinary bleeding. A lump was a common symptom but not associated with delay in presentation. Twenty-eight percent had not recognised their symptoms as serious and this was associated with a doubling in risk of delay. Embarrassment, worry about what the doctor might find, being too busy to go to the doctor and worry about wasting the doctor's time were also strong risk factors for delay, but were much less commonly reported (<6%).Interpretation:Approaches to promote early presentation should aim to increase awareness of the significance of cancer symptoms and should be designed to work for people of the lowest socioeconomic status. In particular, awareness that rectal bleeding is a possible symptom of cancer should be raised. © 2014 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved. Source

Jefford M.,Australian Cancer Survivorship Center chard Pratt Legacy | Jefford M.,University of Melbourne | Rowland J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Grunfeld E.,Ontario Cancer Institute | And 4 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer

Increasing cancer incidence together with improved survival rates are contributing to the growing number of cancer survivors. Survivors may encounter a range of potential effects as a result of the cancer itself or cancer treatments. Traditionally, the major focus of follow-up care has been on detection of cancer recurrence; however, the efficacy of such strategies is questionable. Traditional follow-up frequently fails to identify or adequately address many survivors' concerns. Aftercare needs to be planned to enable better outcomes for survivors, while using scarce health-care resources efficiently. This review focuses on provision of survivorship care, rather than on research. England's National Cancer Survivorship Initiative has developed principles for improved care of those living with and beyond cancer. These include risk-stratified pathways of care, the use of treatment summaries and care plans, information and education to enable choice and the confidence to self manage, rapid re-access to specialist care, remote monitoring and well-coordinated care. Many of these principles are relevant internationally, though preferred models of care will depend on local circumstances. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved. Source

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