Visiting the same primary care physician may delay cancer diagnosis
the ONA take:
According to a recent study published in the British Journal of General Practice, a team led by researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom has found that patients who consulted an unknown doctor tended to have their lung and colorectal cancer symptoms picked up more quickly compared with those who saw their usual general practitioner.
However, the study also showed that those who followed-up with the same health care provider about new symptoms led a to quicker diagnosis.
The study found that seeing the same doctor over the 2 years prior to diagnosis was associated with a 7 day delay to diagnosis for colorectal cancer.
Those who saw the same doctor after cancer symptoms were spotted received a diagnosis about 14 days quicker for colorectal cancer and 18 days quicker for lung cancer compared to those who saw a different doctor.
"These findings provide some evidence that GPs should follow up patients who present with potential cancer symptoms to make sure they receive a timely diagnosis. Interestingly, we also found that your regular doctor might not be the best person to spot those symptoms in the first place. So in some cases getting a second opinion from a different doctor could speed up the time to diagnosis," said study leader Matthew Ridd, MB, ChB, DRCOG, MRCGP.
Patients who consulted an unknown doctor tended to have their lung and colorectal cancer symptoms picked up more quickly.
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