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Risk factors for delay in symptomatic presentation of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma

Howell, Debra A., Warburton, Fiona, Ramirez, Amanda-Jane, Roman, Eve, Smith, Alexandra G., Forbes, Lindsay J.L. (2015) Risk factors for delay in symptomatic presentation of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. British Journal of Cancer, 113 . pp. 1114-1120. ISSN 0007-0920. E-ISSN 1532-1827. (doi:10.1038/bjc.2015.311) (KAR id:53833)

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Background: UK policy aims to improve cancer outcomes by promoting early diagnosis, which for many haematological malignancies is particularly challenging as the pathways leading to diagnosis can be difficult and prolonged.

Results: Of the 785 respondents, 654 (83.3%) reported symptoms; most commonly for NHL (95%) and least commonly for CLL (67.9%). Some symptoms were frequent across diseases while others were more disease-specific. Overall, 16% of patients (n=114) waited >3 months before presentation; most often in CML (24%) and least in acute leukaemia (9%). Significant risk factors for >3 months to presentation were: night sweats (particularly CLL and NHL), thirst, abdominal pain/discomfort, looking pale (particularly acute leukaemias), and extreme fatigue/tiredness (particularly CML and NHL); and not realising symptom(s) were serious.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate important differences by subtype, which should be considered in strategies promoting early presentation. Not realising the seriousness of some symptoms indicates a worrying lack of public awareness.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/bjc.2015.311
Uncontrolled keywords: diagnostic delay; patient interval; help seeking
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Lindsay Forbes
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 16:08 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Forbes, Lindsay J.L.:
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