Reasons for delays in treatment of patients suffering from malignant cancers in Podkarpackie voivodeship

Original Article, Zdr Publ 2013;123(2):116-121


1 Chair of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszów, Poland
2 Chair of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszów, Poland
3 Chair of Quantitative Methods In Economics, Faculty of Economics, University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszów, Poland



Introduction. In the case of oncological patients, early implementation of treatment is a key matter. Any delays occurring on each of the levels of diagnostic and therapeutic processes may affect the outliving of the patients. Elimination of their reasons could reduce the time scale of the delays, increase the percentage of cancer instances detected in initial stages, as well as improve patients’ prognoses.
Aim. The basic objective of this thesis was to identify the main reasons for the delays in the treatment of oncological patients. The additional goal was to establish the sources of information on prophylaxis collected by the patients.
Material and methods. The research comprised108 people who were treated in a stationary treatment system in two specialized oncology centers in Podkarpacie. The method consisted in a diagnostic poll and the employed technique was a survey carried out in the form of a standardized interview.
Results. Among the reasons for the delays that patients contributed to the most commonly mentioned were: lack of knowledge about the symptoms that could suggest cancer and as well as disregarding the symptoms. Eighty-one per cent of the respondents gave more than one reason. Among all respondents, 84% do not know the symptoms that may suggest cancer, 98% claim that actions, which promote this area of knowledge, are needed, and the highest rated source of information is a GP.
Conclusions. The majority of the reasons for the delays in cancer treatment are those, which lie on the side of patients and these are also responsible for the longest average time of procrastination. Delays in treatment on account of the health care system organization seem to be a relatively smaller problem in comparison to those on the side of patients. General practitioner, who constitutes an essential link in the system of fight against cancer in the population, is considered by the patients to be the most reliable source of information on oncological prophylaxis.


cancer, oncological prophylaxis, treatment delays.


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