Delay in Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer; A Need for Awareness Programs

Cigdem Ozturk, Joke Fleer, Harald J. Hoekstra*, Josette E. H. M. Hoekstra-Weebers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background Aim

To gain insight into patient and doctor delay in testicular cancer (TC) and factors associated with delay.

Materials and Methods

Sixty of the 66 eligible men; median age 26 (range 17-45) years, diagnosed with TC at the University Medical Center Groningen completed a questionnaire on patients' delay: interval from symptom onset to first consultation with a general practitioner (GP) and doctors' delay: interval between GP and specialist visit.

Results

Median patient reported delay was 30 (range 1-365) days. Patient delay and TC tumor stage were associated (p = .01). Lower educated men and men embarrassed about their scrotal change reported longer patient delay (r = -.25, r = .79 respectively). Age, marital status, TC awareness, warning signals, nor perceived limitations were associated with patient delay. Median patient reported time from GP to specialist (doctors' delay) was 7 (range 0-240) days. Referral time and disease stage were associated (p = .04). Six patients never reported a scrotal change. Of the 54 patients reporting a testicular change, 29 (54%) patients were initially 'misdiagnosed', leading to a median doctors' delay of 14 (1-240) days, which was longer (p

Conclusions

High variation in patients' and doctors' delay was found. Most important risk variables for longer patient delay were embarrassment and lower education. Most important risk variable in GP's was 'misdiagnosis'. TC awareness programs for men and physicians are required to decrease delay in the diagnosis of TC and improve disease free survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0141244
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2015

Keywords

  • HEALTH BELIEF MODEL
  • GERM-CELL TUMORS
  • SELF-EXAMINATION
  • HELP-SEEKING
  • YOUNG MEN
  • SYMPTOMS
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • RULE

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