Journal article

Symptom Signatures and Diagnostic Timeliness in Cancer Patients: A Review of Current Evidence

Minjoung M Koo, William Hamilton, Fiona M Walter, Greg P Rubin, Georgios Lyratzopoulos



Early diagnosis is an important aspect of contemporary cancer prevention and control strategies, as the majority of patients are diagnosed following symptomatic presentation. The nature of presenting symptoms can critically influence the length of the diagnostic intervals from symptom onset to presentation (the patient interval), and from first presentation to specialist referral (the primary care interval). Understanding which symptoms are associated with longer diagnostic intervals to help the targeting of early diagnosis initiatives is an area of emerging research. In this Review, we consider the methodological challenges in studying the presenting symptoms and intervals to diagnosis of c..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by UK Department of Health

Awarded by Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship

Awarded by Cancer Research UK

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant from the UK Department of Health [grant number no. 106/0001]. This work was part of the program of the Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis. The Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening, and Early Diagnosis receives funding for a research program from the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. It is a collaboration between researchers from seven institutions (Queen Mary University of London, University College London, King's College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Hull York Medical School, Durham University, and PeninsulaMedical School/University of Exeter). G.L. is supported by a Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship [grant number: C18081/A18180]. F.M.W. is supported by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist award. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health, Cancer Research UK, or NIHR.