International journal of environmental research and public health 2018 03 2315(4) pii 10.3390/ijerph15040577
The five-year relative survival rate in Poland is approximately 10% lower compared with the average for Europe. One of the factors that may contribute to the inferior treatment results in Poland could be the long time between cancer suspicion and the beginning of treatment. The aim of the study was to determine the real waiting time for cancer diagnosis and treatment in Poland.
The study was carried out in six cancer centers on a group of 1373 patients, using a questionnaire to interview patients. The median waiting time was estimated as follows: (A) from suspicion (the date of the first visit, with symptoms, to a doctor or a preventive or screening test) until histopathological diagnosis; (B) from suspicion until initial treatment; and (C) from diagnosis until initial treatment.
The median times from suspicion to treatment, from suspicion to diagnosis, and from diagnosis to treatment, were 10.6, 5.6, and 5.0 weeks, respectively. Using multivariate analysis, the strongest influence was estimated, in a case of tumor localization, to be the method of initial treatment and facilities.
The waiting time for cancer treatment in Poland is too long. The highest influence on waiting time was determined, in the case of tumors, as the type of cancer and factors related to the health care system.