Pancreatic cancer: Wait times from presentation to treatment and survival in a population-based study

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Abstract

Pancreatic survival is one of the worst in oncology. To what extent wait times affect outcomes in unknown No population-based study has previously explored patient and treatment delays among individuals with pancreatic cancer. The aim of this study was to estimate patient and treatment delays in patients with pancreatic cancer and to measure their association with survival in a nonselected population. All patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer for the first time between 2009 and 2011 and registered in two French digestive cancer registries were included. Patient delay (time from onset of symptoms until the first consultation categorized into <1 or ≥1 month), and treatment delay (time between the first consultation and treatment categorized into less or more than 29 days, the median time) were collected. Overall delay was used to test associations between survival and the timeliness of care by combining patient delay and treatment delay. Patient delay was longer than 1 month in 46% of patients. A patient delay longer than one month was associated with the absence of jaundice (p< 0.001) and the presence of metastasis (p= 0.003). After adjusting for other covariates, such as symptoms and treatment, the presence of metastasis was negatively associated with treatment delay longer than 29 days (p= 0.025). After adjustment for other covariates, especially metastatic dissemination and the result of the resection, overall delay was not significantly associated with prognosis. We found little evidence to suggest that timely care was associated with the survival of patients.

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