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Experience of symptoms indicative of gynaecological cancers in UK women

Low, EL; Simon, AE; Waller, J; Wardle, J; Menon, U; (2013) Experience of symptoms indicative of gynaecological cancers in UK women. British Journal of Cancer , 109 (4) pp. 882-887. 10.1038/bjc.2013.412. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gynaecological cancers account for ∼12% of female cancer incidence in the United Kingdom. Encouraging prompt help-seeking for potential symptoms could help improve outcomes. However, before developing help-seeking interventions, it is important to estimate the number of women with symptoms potentially indicative of a gynaecological cancer to help estimate the impact of such interventions on primary care. METHODS: As part of a face-to-face, population-based survey, women aged 16 (n=911) were shown a list of symptoms potentially indicative of a gynaecological cancer and were asked to indicate any experienced in the last 3 months. Those who reported symptoms were asked about their responses to one randomly selected index symptom. RESULTS: Just under half (44%) of the respondents reported a symptom, with 35% reporting a frequent and/or severe symptom. Younger (P<0.001), lower socioeconomic status (P<0.01) and non-White women (P<0.05) were significantly more likely to report symptoms. Few (14%) respondents were both older (45 years) and had a frequent and/or severe symptom. Of these women, 38% had seen a GP. CONCLUSION: Symptoms that potentially indicate a gynaecological cancer, even if limited to those that are frequent and/or severe, appear to be common. Consequently, encouraging prompt help-seeking may increase the burden on primary care. However, targeting those at increased risk (older women with frequent or severe symptoms) should avoid unmanageable increases in primary care consultations for gynaecological conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Experience of symptoms indicative of gynaecological cancers in UK women
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2013.412
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2013.412
Language: English
Additional information: From twelve months after its original publication, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Oncology, gynaecological cancer symptoms, help-seeking, symptom survey, OVARIAN-CANCER, BENCHMARKING PARTNERSHIP, CERVICAL-CANCER, EARLY-DIAGNOSIS, SURVIVAL, STAGE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1400822
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