Delays and routes to diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumours

Ron Basuroy, Catherine Bouvier, John Keith Ramage, Maia Sissons, Raj Srirajaskanthan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neuroendocrine tumours are uncommon tumours; there is often a long period between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. This study aims to address the symptoms prior to diagnosis of people with known neuroendocrine tumours and also the involvement of healthcare providers prior to the diagnosis. Methods: A web based survey was designed to cover two broad areas of patient symptoms and healthcare interactions prior to diagnosis. This was tested and adapted by patient and clinician input prior to distribution via Survey Monkey. Results: The results demonstrated a median time from first symptom to diagnosis of 53.8 months. The most frequent initial symptoms were of pain, change in bowel habit and fatigue. 31% of respondents noted weight loss prior to diagnosis. 80% of respondents visited their GP regarding the symptoms a median of 11 times. 58% of respondents were referred to secondary care where they were seen a median 3 times. 30% presented acutely to A&E and this led to their diagnosis. Conclusion: In conclusion, there is a long time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis in all types of NETs. This is despite many respondents having alarm symptoms at diagnosis. Further education and awareness regarding malignancy may help with earlier diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1122
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018


  • Delay
  • Diagnosis and pancreas
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Lung
  • Neuroendocrine tumour
  • Symptoms


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