Patient characteristics and cancer prevalence in the Danish cancer patient pathway for patients with serious non-specific symptoms and signs of cancer-A nationwide, population-based cohort study

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BACKGROUND: A new cancer patient pathway for patients presenting with non-specific signs and symptoms (NSSC-CPP) was implemented nationally in Denmark in 2012. This study aims to describe, on a national level, the characteristics of patients referred to the Danish NSSC-CPP, and to estimate the prevalence and distribution of cancers and other diagnosis in this population.

METHODS: A population-based cohort study using the Danish national registries, including all patients who completed a diagnostic course through the NSSC-CPP between 2012 and 2015. Cancer prevalence is presented as the percentage of included patients who were diagnosed with cancer after completing a NSSC-CPP diagnostic course. Associations between patient characteristics and cancer diagnosis were estimated in a multivariate logistic regression model.

RESULTS: The mean age of the 23,934 patients included in the analysis was 64.6 years and 47% where male. In total, 11% of all patients received a cancer diagnosis after completing a diagnostic course in the NSSC-CPP; the most common types were breast cancer (18%) hematopoietic and lymphoid tissue cancer (15%), and malignant melanoma (12%). The most common non-cancer diagnosis was non-specific symptoms/observation (54%). Fifty-five patients were diagnosed with cancer within six months following a non-cancer diagnosis in the NSSC-CPP.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of cancer in the NSSC-CPP was 11%. The most common cancer diagnosis was breast cancer, hematopoietic and lymphoid cancer and malignant melanoma. A small proportion of patients receiving a non-cancer diagnosis in the NSSC-CPP were diagnosed with cancer in the six months following their NSSC-CPP course.

TidsskriftCancer Epidemiology
Udgave nummerPt A
Sider (fra-til)166-172
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2017

ID: 195959946