Delays in the diagnosis of lung cancer occurred because patients failed to recognise symptoms as serious and warranting medical attention
Q How might patients with lung cancer have influenced the timing of diagnosis?
Structured and semistructured interviews.
2 outpatient cancer centres in the UK.
A quota sample of 22 patients 43–82 y of age (55% men) with lung cancer. All but 1 patient were previous or current smokers. 7 patients had potentially curable disease.
Patients participated in structured and semistructured interviews. Most were interviewed within 3 days to 1 month of diagnosis. Patients were asked about events leading up to their diagnosis, and key events were recorded on a time line; this was followed up by specific questions about each symptom. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim.
All patients had experienced symptoms for ⩾4 months before reporting suspicious symptoms to a doctor—patient delay. 6 themes were identified as reasons for patient delay. (1) Experiencing uncertainty over what was normal and …