Why is the diagnosis of women's cancer often delayed?

Why is the diagnosis of women's cancer often delayed?

Gynaecological cancers are relatively common - ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers together make up about 20,000 cases each year, with approximately 7,400 deaths.

Survival rates in the UK are not as good as those in comparable countries such as France or Germany, but the reasons for this are not clear.

Pauline Williams and colleagues from the University of Aberdeen reviewed the research literature and analysed evidence from 37 studies.

They found that patients, unsurprisingly, often didn't recognise the seriousness of symptoms, which can be misleading, and didn't seek advice promptly. Some patients may be put off consulting because of concerns about having a pelvic examination.

GPs can also be misled by presenting symptoms which do not immediately suggest a gynaecological cancer diagnosis, such as gastrointestinal symptoms, and patients may be referred to specialities other than gynaecology.

A number of the studies analysed had been conducted after the introduction of clinical guidelines in the UK and Denmark, which do not appear to have had much impact.

The Aberdeen group calls for more research into ways of helping women recognise sinister symptoms, raising the suspicion of gynaecological cancers amongst GPs, and providing time and support for patients and doctors, including the provision of chaperones, to encourage women to consult and to recognise that they are not wasting GPs' time.

Search News

Browse by Month

2020

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2020
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2020
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2020
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2020
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2020
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2020
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2020

2013

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2013
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2013
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2013
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2013
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2013
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec