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Esteva M.,Balearic Institute of Health | Leiva A.,Balearic Institute of Health | Pita-Fernandez S.,University of La Coruña | Gonzalez-Lujan L.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | And 17 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) survival depends mostly on stage at the time of diagnosis. However, symptom duration at diagnosis or treatment have also been considered as predictors of stage and survival. This study was designed to: 1) establish the distinct time-symptom duration intervals; 2) identify factors associated with symptom duration until diagnosis and treatment. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of all incident cases of symptomatic CRC during 2006-2009 (795 incident cases) in 5 Spanish regions. Data were obtained from patients' interviews and reviews of primary care and hospital clinical records. Measurements: CRC symptoms, symptom perception, trust in the general practitioner (GP), primary care and hospital examinations/visits before diagnosis, type of referral and tumor characteristics at diagnosis. Symptom Diagnosis Interval (SDI) was calculated as time from first CRC symptoms to date of diagnosis. Symptom Treatment Interval (STI) was defined as time from first CRC symptoms until start of treatment. Nonparametric tests were used to compare SDI and STI according to different variables.Results: Symptom to diagnosis interval for CRC was 128 days and symptom treatment interval was 155. No statistically significant differences were observed between colon and rectum cancers. Women experienced longer intervals than men. Symptom presentation such as vomiting or abdominal pain and the presence of obstruction led to shorter diagnostic or treatment intervals. Time elapsed was also shorter in those patients that perceived their first symptom/s as serious, disclosed it to their acquaintances, contacted emergencies services or had trust in their GPs. Primary care and hospital doctor examinations and investigations appeared to be related to time elapsed to diagnosis or treatment. Conclusions: Results show that gender, symptom perception and help-seeking behaviour are the main patient factors related to interval duration. Health service performance also has a very important role in symptom to diagnosis and treatment interval. If time to diagnosis is to be reduced, interventions and guidelines must be developed to ensure appropriate examination and diagnosis during both primary and hospital care. © 2013 Esteva et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Esteva M.,Balearic Institute of Health | Ruiz A.,Balearic Institute of Health | Casamitjana M.,Health Consorcium of Barcelona | Sanchez-Calavera M.A.,Canal Imperial Primary Care Center | And 15 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Background: The gap in survival between older and younger European cancer patients is getting wider. It is possible that cancer in the elderly is being managed or treated differently than in their younger counterparts. This study aims to explore age disparities with respect to the clinical characteristics of the tumour, diagnostic pathway and treatment of colorectal cancer patients. Methods: We conducted a multicenter cross sectional study in 5 Spanish regions. Consecutive incident cases of CRC were identified from pathology services. Measurements: From patient interviews, hospital and primary care clinical records, we collected data on symptoms, stage, doctors investigations, time duration to diagnosis/treatment, quality of care and treatment. Results: 777 symptomatic cases, 154 were older than 80 years. Stage was similar by age group. General symptoms were more frequent in the eldest and abdominal symptoms in the youngest. No differences were found regarding perception of symptom seriousness and symptom disclosure between age groups as no longer duration to diagnosis or treatment was observed in the oldest groups. In primary care, only ultrasound is more frequently ordered in those <65 years. Those >80 years had a significantly higher proportion of iron testing and abdominal XR requested in hospital. We observed a high resection rate independently of age but less adjuvant chemotherapy in Stage III colon cancer, and of radiotherapy in stage II and III rectal cancer as age increases. Conclusion: There are no relevant age disparities in the CRC diagnosis process with similar stage, duration to diagnosis, investigations and surgery. However, further improvements have to be made with respect to adjuvant therapy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Nazareth Primary Care Center, Fraga Primary Health Center, University of La Coruña, Balearic Institute of Health and 9 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cancer epidemiology | Year: 2014

The gap in survival between older and younger European cancer patients is getting wider. It is possible that cancer in the elderly is being managed or treated differently than in their younger counterparts. This study aims to explore age disparities with respect to the clinical characteristics of the tumour, diagnostic pathway and treatment of colorectal cancer patients.We conducted a multicenter cross sectional study in 5 Spanish regions. Consecutive incident cases of CRC were identified from pathology services.From patient interviews, hospital and primary care clinical records, we collected data on symptoms, stage, doctors investigations, time duration to diagnosis/treatment, quality of care and treatment.777 symptomatic cases, 154 were older than 80 years. Stage was similar by age group. General symptoms were more frequent in the eldest and abdominal symptoms in the youngest. No differences were found regarding perception of symptom seriousness and symptom disclosure between age groups as no longer duration to diagnosis or treatment was observed in the oldest groups. In primary care, only ultrasound is more frequently ordered in those <65 years. Those >80 years had a significantly higher proportion of iron testing and abdominal XR requested in hospital. We observed a high resection rate independently of age but less adjuvant chemotherapy in Stage III colon cancer, and of radiotherapy in stage II and III rectal cancer as age increases.There are no relevant age disparities in the CRC diagnosis process with similar stage, duration to diagnosis, investigations and surgery. However, further improvements have to be made with respect to adjuvant therapy.

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