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Direct access to fast transvaginal ultrasound through general practice for earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Project: Research

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Background: Ovarian cancer (OC) is a disease with a poor prognosis due to diagnosis at late stage. Early-stage OC produces non-specific and vague symptoms and therefore OC usually is not detected until an advanced stage.
From 2008 Danish general practitioners (GPs) could urgently refer patients suspected of having OC to standardized cancer patient pathways (CPPs). The CPP is designed for women presenting specific signs and alarm symptoms, and is supposed to shorten the pathway from suspicion to treatment.
Direct access to fast transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) is only available through referral to the CPP. However, about 60% of all OC patients do not present alarm symptoms and the GP must refer to ordinary waiting list or use time as a diagnostic tool. This may cause diagnostic delays. Thus, there is a need for methods to facilitate earlier diagnosis of OC in general practice.
Aims: This PhD project has 3 overall aims.
1: To investigate the route to OC diagnosis including:
a) Investigate the diagnostic interval from first symptom to diagnosis.
b) Investigate GPs’ interpretation of symptoms and referral practices for OC patients.
c) Investigate which examinations women are referred to.
d) Analyse the relationship between the GPs’ symptom interpretation, referral, time to diagnosis and stage.
2: Analyse the association between use of TVU and the OC stage distribution.
3: Develop training for GPs in OC diagnosis combined with direct access to TVU.
Methods: The first part of the study (aim 1 and 2) are observational studies where the data are based on registry data, the second part (aim 3) is a clinical study.
Results: Data are not yet available.
Effective start/end date01/02/201631/01/2019

ID: 129045488