Use of health services before diagnosis of head and neck cancer among Boston residents

Am J Prev Med. 1990 Mar-Apr;6(2):77-83.


One hundred thirty incident cases of head and neck cancer in Boston between September 1, 1985, and March 31, 1988, provided interview or medical record review data on the use of health services in the 24 months preceding the diagnosis of cancer. One hundred twenty-four subjects were able to recall whether and how often they visited health care sites in this period, reporting a median number of 10.5 visits; 94% recalled at least one visit. Eighty-nine medical record reviews indicated a median of seven visits. For the most part, these visits were to providers whom subjects considered their regular source of care--sources that provided care in a broad range of locations. These data support a strategy of integrating screening for head and neck cancers into existing health care services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Boston
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Dental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts
  • Medical Records
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies