Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Symptoms and other factors associated with time to diagnosis and stage of lung cancer: a prospective cohort study.

Walter, F M, Rubin, Greg, Bankhead, C, Morris, H C, Hall, Nicola, Mills, K, Dobson, C, Rintoul, R C, Hamilton, W and Emery, J (2015) Symptoms and other factors associated with time to diagnosis and stage of lung cancer: a prospective cohort study. British Journal of Cancer, 112. S6-S13.

Item Type: Article




This prospective cohort study aimed to identify symptom and patient factors that influence time to lung cancer diagnosis and stage at diagnosis.


Data relating to symptoms were collected from patients upon referral with symptoms suspicious of lung cancer in two English regions; we also examined primary care and hospital records for diagnostic routes and diagnoses. Descriptive and regression analyses were used to investigate associations between symptoms and patient factors with diagnostic intervals and stage.


Among 963 participants, 15.9% were diagnosed with primary lung cancer, 5.9% with other thoracic malignancies and 78.2% with non-malignant conditions. Only half the cohort had an isolated first symptom (475, 49.3%); synchronous first symptoms were common. Haemoptysis, reported by 21.6% of cases, was the only initial symptom associated with cancer. Diagnostic intervals were shorter for cancer than non-cancer diagnoses (91 vs 124 days, P=0.037) and for late-stage than early-stage cancer (106 vs 168 days, P=0.02). Chest/shoulder pain was the only first symptom with a shorter diagnostic interval for cancer compared with non-cancer diagnoses (P=0.003).


Haemoptysis is the strongest symptom predictor of lung cancer but occurs in only a fifth of patients. Programmes for expediting earlier diagnosis need to focus on multiple symptoms and their evolution.

Full text not available from this repository.

More Information

Uncontrolled Keywords: lung cancer, symptom, diagnosis, diagnostic interval, early stage, late stage
Depositing User: Wendy Tasker


Item ID: 7933
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2017 09:57


Author: F M Walter
Author: Greg Rubin
Author: C Bankhead
Author: H C Morris
Author: Nicola Hall
Author: K Mills
Author: C Dobson
Author: R C Rintoul
Author: W Hamilton
Author: J Emery

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item