Present the facts.

It’s lung cancer awareness month. Heck, it’s always some cancer awareness month. One reason is to raise public awareness for earlier cancer detection. This study takes a fascinating look at the association between different presenting symptoms across cancer types and stage at diagnosis. It included a large cohort of patients who presented with 1 of 20 symptoms leading to a diagnosis of 1 of 12 solid tumors. Chest pain, back pain, and neck lump were most strongly associated with a subsequent stage IV diagnosis. Breast lump, abnormal mole, post-menopausal bleeding, and rectal bleeding were all associated with a lower likelihood of subsequent stage IV diagnosis. Some of these takeaways are obvious. A more nuanced one is that symptoms of bleeding typically had a higher chance of not leading to a stage IV diagnosis. TBL: When promoting cancer awareness, raise awareness of symptoms that can prompt an earlier cancer diagnosis. | Koo, Lancet Oncol 2019


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