The time to diagnosis and survival in children with solid tumors and lymphoma: results from a single center in Turkey
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CitationOcak, S., Sen, H. S., & Turkkan, E. (2022). The time to diagnosis and survival in children with solid tumors and lymphoma: results from a single center in Turkey. Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, 39(2), 121-131.
The longer diagnostic intervals in low- and middle-income countries have been proposed among the possible causes of poorer outcomes in children with cancer. In this single-center study from Turkey, the diagnostic intervals and survival status of 138 children with solid tumors and lymphoma (excluding leukemia) were prospectively evaluated. The median total interval (from the beginning of the first cancer-related symptom to the first day of the cancer-specific therapy), the median patient interval (the time interval from the notification of the first cancer-related symptom to the first admission to a healthcare facility), and the median physician interval (the time interval between the first healthcare admission to the first pediatric oncology visit) were 65, 26, and 24 days, respectively. The estimated 5-year overall survival and event-free survival rates were 80.7% and 69.1%, respectively. The longer time intervals were correlated with age, paternal education, localization, and tumor type. Interestingly, none of the time parameters were found to be associated with survival on regression analysis. In conclusion, the diagnostic delay in children with cancer is multifactorial, and the patient- and disease-related factors are as important as the time intervals on survival.