In an analysis of information on 10,463 UK patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer from 2006 to 2013, patients under the age of 50 years were more likely to initially experience non-specific symptoms before being referred to cancer specialists.
In the Colorectal Disease analysis, young patients were more likely to present with abdominal pain and via an emergency. They also experienced a longer interval between referral to diagnosis by 12.5 days compared with those aged 60 to 69 years.
"Primary care physicians should be made aware of these differences if there is to be a reduction in missed opportunities to prevent emergency diagnoses," the authors wrote.
Arhi, C.S. et al. (2019) Colorectal cancer patients under the age of 50 experience delays in primary care leading to emergency diagnoses: a population‐based study. Colorectal Disease. doi.org/10.1111/codi.14734.