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Diagnostic odyssey prevalent amongst sarcoma patients

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Many patients with sarcoma have lengthy patient and diagnostic intervals, with differing risk factors associated with each, according to a study.

Patient interval was defined as the time from the appearance of symptoms to physician consultation and diagnostic interval was defined as time from the first consultation to diagnosis.

In this cross-sectional study, 1099 adult patients with sarcoma completed a questionnaire regarding their total interval, 2 to 10 years after their initial diagnosis.

Almost 60% reported a patient interval ≥1 month and 36% reported a patient interval ≥3 months.

Patients who had sarcoma of the skin or pelvis, liposarcoma, or rhabdomyosarcoma were at a higher risk for a long patient interval, whereas patients with stage III disease were more likely to have a shorter patient interval.

Approximately 55% of patients reported a diagnostic interval length of ≥1 month and 28% of patients reported a length of ≥3 months.

Women, patients older than 70 years of age, and those with a synovial sarcoma or chordoma were at a higher risk of a longer diagnostic interval.

The authors concluded that, “Creating awareness among (especially young) patients to consult a physician and awareness among physicians to consider a sarcoma diagnosis will contribute to optimization of the total interval.”

Soomers VLMN, Husson O, Desar IME, et al. Patient and diagnostic intervals of survivors of sarcoma: Results from the SURVSARC study. Cancer. 2020 Oct 1. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33181. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33002193.