Characteristics of ovarian cancer patients with first presentation in general practice

Dan Med J. 2022 Mar 23;69(4):A05210434.


Introduction: Women with ovarian cancer (OC) have a poor prognosis. An improved prognosis was observed when the pathway to diagnosis begins in general practice. We aimed to investigate patient characteristics among women diagnosed with OC whose diagnostic pathway begins in general practice.

Methods: This was a population-based retrospective cohort study among Danish patients with a first-time OC diagnosis, using questionnaire data and national registers.

Results: The GP was involved in the diagnosis in 91.1% of the 313 included women with OC. Women aged 60-74 years had statistically significantly higher odds of having GP involvement than women younger than 60 years (odds ratio (OR) = 2.97 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-8.08)). Women with high comorbidity had statistically significantly lower odds of having GP involvement than women with no comorbidity (OR = 0.25 (95% CI: 0.09-0.66).

Conclusions: This study found higher odds of GP involvement in the diagnosis of OC in women aged 60-74 years and lower odds of GP involvement in women with high comorbidity. The remaining patient characteristics had no significant influence on the first place of presentation for OC patients. Knowledge hereof may potentially inform future initiatives as health campaigns or postgraduate GP training thereby increasing the awareness among women and GPs alike of OC symptoms. However, the study was restricted to a limited number of patients, and future research is warranted to underpin our findings.

Funding: none.

Trial registration: not relevant.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • General Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires