Diagnostics in Patients Suspect for Breast Cancer in The Netherlands

Madelon M. Voets, Catharina G. M. Groothuis-Oudshoorn, Liset H.J. Veneklaas, Srirang Manohar, Mariël Brinkhuis, Jeroen Veltman, Linda de Munck, Lioe-Fee de Geus-Oei, Mireille J. M. Broeders, Sabine Siesling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The goal of this study was to describe the variation in hospital-based diagnostic care activities for patients with symptomatology suspect for breast cancer in The Netherlands. Two cohorts were included: the ‘benign’ cohort (30,334 women suspected of, but without breast cancer) and the ‘malignant’ cohort (2236 breast cancer patients). Hospital-based financial data was combined with tumor data (malignant cohort) from The Netherlands Cancer Registry. Patterns within diagnostic pathways were analyzed. Factors influencing the number of visits and number of diagnostic care activities until diagnosis were identified in the malignant cohort with multivariable Cox and Poisson regression models. Compared to patients with benign diagnosis, patients with malignant disease received their diagnosis less frequently in one day, after an equal average number of hospital visits and higher average number of diagnostic activities. Factors increasing the number of diagnostic care activities were the following: lower age and higher cM-and cN-stages. Factors increasing the number of days until (malignant) diagnosis were as follows: higher BIRADS-score, screen-detected and higher cN-and cT-stages. Hospital of diagnosis influenced both number of activities and days to diagnosis. The diagnostic care pathway of patients with malignant disease required more time and diagnostic activities than benign disease and depends on hospital, tumor and patient characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4998-5008
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2021


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