Identification of factors influencing delayed presentation of cancer patients

Gargie Sharma, Sweety Gupta, Amit Gupta, Vasantha C. Kalyani, Kusum K. Rohilla, Aathira Thozhuthungal Sreejeev, Yan Pothung Yanthan, Utkarsh Kumar, Biswajyoti Das, Gaurav Sharma, Amit Sehrawat, Manoj Gupta


Background: Delayed presentation of patients of cancer is associated with poorer survival. Early presentation, timely diagnosis and treatment are critical factors in improving long-term survival for patients with cancer. Thus, reducing delays in diagnosis of cancer should be a priority. Against this backdrop this study was conducted to identify factors leading to delayed presentation of patients in advanced stages of cancer at our institute.  

Methods: Newly diagnosed patients of cancer coming to radiation oncology, surgery and medical oncology outpatient departments were included in this study. Data was collected in a pre-validated questionnaire format.

Results: 360 patients were included. Majority of patients 212 (58.9%) were male. 66.7% patients were from rural areas. Most of the patient’s educational level was upto primary schooling 178 (49.4%) and caregiver educational level was upto primary schooling 153 (42.5%). Reason for alternative treatment correlated significantly with patient awareness about the disease (p<0.03). Most common reason of the time gap given by patients was symptom appraisal 258 (71.7%).

Conclusions: Educational level of patients, symptom appraisal, fear of side effects of treatment and awareness about disease were main reasons for delay in presentation of cancer patients. So, education regarding warning signs of cancer and symptom appraisal are important in reducing delays in presentation.


Cancer detection, Delayed, Survival, Awareness

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